23/04/2013 11:40 BST | Updated 24/04/2013 12:05 BST

Nigel Farage Claims French Presidential Candidate Took Him 'Unwittingly' To A Lapdancing Club

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UK Independent Party (UKIP) leader Nigel Farage speaks during a press conference following their second place in the Eastleigh by-election in Eastleigh, Hampshire , southern England, on March 1, 2013. The UK Independence Party condemned the Conservatives to third place in a contest billed as the most important British by-election in a generation. UKIP leader Nigel Farage insisted the party's best ever result in a British election was not a 'protest vote'. AFP PHOTO / BEN STANSALL (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)

Nigel Farage has claimed he was once "unwittingly" taken to a lapdancing club in Strasbourg by a French presidential candidate.

Speaking to journalists in Westminster on Tuesday afternoon, the Ukip leader was quizzed on whether he had ever been to such a nightspot while serving as an MEP.

"To my knowledge I have been to one in my time in Strasbourg," he said. Farage added to laughter: "Which I was taken to unwittingly."

"I was taken by someone who was then a candidate for the French presidency. I had no idea where we were going."

"It wasn't my choice to go there, although it has to be said back in the 1980s working in the City I might have been to one or two of these establishments."

Pressed on which presidential candidate had dragged him to a strip club he would only reveal it "wasn't Sarko" - former president Nicolas Sarkozy.

Farage made the comments after he asked if it was appropriate for a Ukip to field a council candidate in Abingdon who owned a lapdancing club.

He said: "Sounds to me like he is a free market entrepreneur. Providing he is operating properly within the law I am absolutely delighted we have real people, from the real world, running for Ukip rather than the cardboard cutouts."


He added: "Whilst from time to time we may attract the odd fruitcake, the odd loony the odd nutcase, doesn't every voluntary organisation?"

Farage said he expected his party to cause an "earthquake" in British politics as it looks to establish "bridge-heads" in local councils on 2 May and then go on to win the European Parliament elections in 2014.

"If Ukip does become strong enough as a result of the local elections and European elections we can have a serious talk about realigning British politics," he said.

And Farage said he expected it would be possible for the party to have a "substantial number of MPs" as soon as the next election in 2015.

"Whatever one thinks of Ukip, this thing has gone way beyond being a single two fingers up to John Major and Maastricht, it's a party that's now got roots, it's party thats now got a base."

He predicted that Ukip would come second in the South Shields by-election caused by David Miliband's retirement from parliament and that the party had a "real chance" of winning any by-election held in Portsmouth South should the incumbent Mike Hancock be forced to quit.

Looking forward to 2015, Farage also said David Cameron has "no chance" of winning the general election as he was part of the "social democratic mush" in the centre ground.

"North of Birmingham the Tory party is completely disappearing," he said. "In the urban North Ukip is becoming the opposition."

"Five or seven years ago, had a Conservative leader, let alone prime minister said 'I promise a [EU] referendum', we would have been poleaxed, as it is, this time round it has made absolutely no difference at all."

He added: "Like it or not, Ukip is here to stay."