Godfrey Bloom has called for unemployed people to be banned from voting, in a call derided as "social apartheid".

In a controversial blog for the Huffington Post UK, the Independent MEP, who was stripped of the Ukip whip for jokingly calling a room full of women "sluts", said the electoral system needed to give "more electoral power" to the wealthy who "create the revenue".

The former Ukip business spokesman attacked the fact that some will still get a vote even if they have "contributed nothing to the national exchequer at all and maybe never will".

He added: "I do not expect to vote in a Unite ballot because I am not a member and pay no dues. I do not expect a vote at Marks and Spencer's AGM because I am not a shareholder. We need to get to a system where the interest of the individual and the state are more compatible."

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Speaking earlier in November, Bloom told LBC radio that those who "haven't done a hand's turn" should not be get the vote.

He said: “If you haven’t done a hand’s turn and neither have your parents or your parents’ parents then I can’t actually understand why you should be able to vote on the administration.”

In response to Bloom's HuffPostUK blog, Green Party leader Natalie Bennett said: "Mr Bloom appears to think that income is the only value by which an individual and their contribution to society can be judged. He appears to put no value on the unpaid care of children, older people and the ill and disabled, no value on community work and involvement.

"Even more disturbingly, he appears to have no recognition of that fact that fundamental to our democracy is an acknowledgement that every individual has the right to have a say over their own future."

"He wants to create a social apartheid with voting rights based entirely on income.Does he want to give graduated votes according to income? That would appear to be the logic of his argument: so we could give most votes to the people with most money - rule by Philip Green, Richard Branson, Fred (the Shred) Goodwin and their ilk."

Ben Southwood, head of macro policy at the libertarian think-tank the Adam Smith Institute, said: "There are serious issues with the tax system in the UK that ought to be dealt with, but this is not a solution."

"Evidence suggests that people don't even know their own interests, let alone vote in that direction. Most research suggests people's votes are either made on essentially arbitrary criteria, based on what they think is demanded by justice or common welfare, or are used as signals that voters belong to certain groups or have certain characteristics."

Katie Ghose, chief executive of the Electoral Reform Society, said: “As more and more people turn away from politics our democracy is reaching crisis point. We need to be looking at ways to encourage people to vote, and so should all the political parties. We certainly shouldn’t be singling out groups of people and denying them their most basic civic right.

“I don’t know how seriously we’re supposed to take Mr Bloom’s suggestion but any measure which shuts more people off from politics, particularly in such a highly discriminatory way, should be laughed out of town.”

Mary Honeyball, Labour MEP for London, said: "Thankfully Godfrey Bloom is so discredited that his opinions carry very little weight. Nevertheless, it is still frightening to see how out of step he is with modern Britain.

"Bloom remains a 'friend' of Nigel Farage's and we should not underestimate the extent to which he still speaks for the Ukip mainstream. I hope voters in the European Elections will bear in mind his outmoded and undemocratic views when they head to the polls next May."

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