A Ukip councillor has been forced to apologise after he suggested he could not be a racist because he very much enjoyed the "hospitality" of "coloured people" when he went on holiday to the Caribbean.
Cornwall's Cllr Viv Lewis, 83, a motorcycle enthusiast often pictured wearing his Ukip neon vest, was speaking on the BBC’s Sunday Politics South West about his party's immigration stance, which he insisted was not based on racism.
“I have already had heated arguments about that. Racist I am not. I like coloured people," the retired coach driver said.
“I have been to the West Indies. I have sampled their hospitality. I like coloured people.
“But what I don’t like is people who walk into this country and immediately get given money when there’s a lot more deserving cases among English, British people.”
Rob Berkeley, director of race equality think tank the Runnymede Trust, told the Mirror: “The term coloured has largely been rejected by people from visible ethnic minorities.
“By using the term the councillor appears to be out of touch with modern Britain.”
Lewis, who was elected earlier this year to represent Camborne Treswithian, told the Western Morning News on Tuesday that he would not use the term again. “My problem is I haven’t caught up with the diplomatic jargon and I didn’t realise it is considered offensive these days.
"I want to apologise to anyone that was offended. It is not something you will hear me say again.”
The embarrassing remarks come in a cringe-worthy week for Ukip, which included MEP Godfrey Bloom having the whip withdrawn for calling a roomful of women "sluts".