A major ex-Ukip donor, famed for his views on the obscenity of women's trousers, has taken out an expensive national newspaper advert attacking a female columnist for her writings on Russia's anti-gay laws.
Demetri Marchessini, a Greek businessman who has given £10,000 to the eurosceptic party, took out the quarter page advert on page 27 of the Telegraph to launch a bizarre and poorly-spelt rant against Times columnist Libby Purves.
He took out a similar advert in the Times to attack that newspaper's columnist Rachel Sylvester in May last year.
— paul clements (@paulclements) January 28, 2014
In his 'Open Letter to Libby Purves' - despite her having written the column on Russian President Vladimir Putin and his views on homosexuality in a different newspaper - Marchessini wrote that Purves had not understood the religious objections to gay unions.
"One of the fascinating questions about journalistic life in London is why the well-known columnist Libby Purves, who has clearly stated that she does not believe in religion, repeatedly tells those who do believe in religion, what they should think," the piece begins.
"What Miss Purves and many others cannot grasp is the fact that when our government made homosexuality legal it did not make it moral. How can anyone, let alone Miss Purvis [SIC], tell people what they should think of homosexuality?"
He points to "inaccuracies" in Purves column, saying "as has already been repeatedly explained to her "there is no such word as 'homophobic'. It cannot be found in any dictionary, nor does it have any meaning."
The word cannot exist, he says, because it has both Latin and Greek etymology.
The word 'homophobia' is included in the Oxford English Dictionary and the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, amongst others. Neuroscience, television and calcium are just three examples of words, commonly used in English, with Latin and Greek roots.
Purves has taken the attack in good humour:
OK, Marchessini is a joke: but persecution, beating, jailing and hanging of young gay men around the world (inc Commonwealth) is not a joke.— Libby Purves (@lib_thinks) January 28, 2014
The column attacking Sylvester in the Times in May was signed 'Neaderthal Caveman', but was later revealed to be from Marchessini. The column addressed to Purves was signed by Marchessini, and included his email.
Marchessini believes trouser-wearing women don't realise how bad they look from behind, because of their "big bottoms", having written an e-book, Women in Trousers: A Rear View, on the subject.
"Trousers reveal and highlight every inch of a woman's lower body, and women in close-fitting trousers seen from the rear seem to be almost in the nude from the waist down," he wrote.
"Countless women who would look lovely in dresses or skirts are embarrassingly unattractive in trousers."
On his blog, he has posted a series of controversial ramblings, including views that unwed mothers are "naughty girls" who should be given a "smack" and that "date rape" allegations "mean nothing". Female brains are "not able to compete" when it comes to logic, according to Marchessini.
The Telegraph has not responded to requests for comment.
Gay rights campaign group Stonewall said they were delighted that "Marchessini has resorted to paid advertising rather than the more conventional method of the newspaper's letter page".
A Ukip spokesman said: "Mr Marchessini's comments are entirely his own and he very publicly divorced from the party the last time we vehemently opposed his eccentric and unpalatable views."Suggest a correction