It’s been quite a year for UKIP.
Here are some of the things we remember the most.
We start with David Silvester, whose comments on gay marriage causing floods spark a media storm and the @UKIPWeather account, which amasses almost 100,000 followers.
Nigel Farage goes on to do his own spoof in an attempt to dampen the mocking atmosphere, but it doesn’t go down quite as well.
The whole affair inspires this brilliant piece of comedy. David Silvester is suspended soon after.
Then there was Godfrey Bloom, mocking the disability of a student during a debate in Oxford Union.
Skip to February and this news emerges about Mujeeb ur Rehman Bhutto who was UKIP’s Commonwealth spokesman for a year, and as it transpires, was a former leader of a kidnapping gang in Pakistan. Shocking!
Next to be exposed is John Upex, the UKIP chairman who advocated ‘termination’ of Down’s syndrome foetuses and ‘breaking from the EU by force’.
It’s by-election time in Wythenshaw and Sale East. The Daily Mail reveals that the UKIP candidate’s chief backer is a porn star called ‘Lord Lust’ and we also hear about Shneur Odze, a prospective MEP for the North West of England who refuses to shake hands with women. Labour win the by-election with over 55% of the vote, with UKIP a distant second.
Then David Silvester is expelled.
Later in February this story emerges, about a UKIP councillor and his wife pleading guilty to stealing £25,000 in benefits scam lasting two years.
March is just as messy for UKIP. With the European Elections looming in May, Dan Hodges writing for the Telegraph declares UKIP a ‘racist party’. Ed Davey claims UKIP ‘basically lie to people’ on immigration, and Tory MP Robert Halfon then states UKIP members are either jokers or ‘literally akin to Nazis’.
UKIP try to shut down a comedy duo, which backfires massively following an outpouring of support from the industry and general public, alongside soaring ticket sales across the country.
John White, who stood for UKIP in mid-Worcestershire finds himself under the spotlight after he sent an email in which the family of murdered Stephen Lawrence were apparently compared to monkeys.
UKIP councillor Donna Edmunds starts a row after she states businesses should be able to refuse services to women and gay people.
UKIP tells its MEPs they’ll have to donate £50,000 to the cash-strapped party amid concerns at the top of UKIP that a £6m donation pledged by Paul Sykes, the former Tory donor, has not come through and that the party will be left with huge debts after the European elections.
And who could forget Samuel Fletcher and his unsavoury views? Though of course, he already had form.
April isn’t any better. A UKIP councillor quits saying he is ‘disgusted’ by his former party’s policy on gay marriage.
UKIP then defends a councillor candidate who called gay people ‘abnormal’ and said he wished ‘they stop trying to ram it down my throat’, all the while discussing whether the word ‘sodomite’ should be used.
A UKIP councillor ‘publicly humiliates‘ a 6-year-old and UKIP councillor Gordon Gillick is ‘deeply sorry’ over claims he called children in care ‘takers from the system’.
Tommy Robinson, the leader of the far-right English Defence League (EDL), urges people to vote for the UK Independence Party in the next election, arguing: ‘they are saying exactly what we say, just in a different way’.
County councillor Peter Lagoda quits after making racist remarks and Andre Lampitt, who featured in the anti-EU election party’s broadcast is suspended after he posted messages on Twitter expressing ‘various extreme racist views’. Although he was apparently banned soon after it seems he was still allowed to stand in the Merton elections.
Then UKIP candidate William Henwood tells Lenny Henry he should emigrate to a ‘black country’ and UKIP candidate David Wycherley claims ‘Mo Farah isn’t British’ and ‘mosques should be knocked down’.
Neil Hamilton claims UKIP is the party for ‘decent BNP supporters‘. Yes, that’s Neil Hamilton of UKIP. Channel 4 then exposes a UKIP donor who holds a number of shocking views: that UKIP donor claims gay people are ‘incapable of love’, that marital rape isn’t possible and that women should be banned from wearing trousers.
While on the campaign trail in Nottingham, Nigel Farage is egged and a protester is arrested. UKIP is bombarded with unwanted mail as people send discarded flyers, parcels and even house bricks to the UKIP Freepost mailbox.
PR disaster strikes for UKIP as Janice Atkinson is photographed flipping her middle-finger at protesters after launching into a foul-mouthed rant. Roger Helmer is exposed as a ‘seal hater’ and homophobic.
The right-wing group Britain First offer to protect Nigel Farage in Scotland with ‘armoured vehicles’. Meanwhile the police, bafflingly, visit the home of a man who tweeted an image about legitimate facts about UKIP.
UKIP’s MEP Gerard Batten then allegedly gets a brick through his window and blames the ‘left wing’ (which we blogged about here). UKIP’s small business spokesman Amjad Bashir comes under fire after it emerged that seven people were arrested on suspicion of immigration offences in a raid on a restaurant owned by him. He was later voted in as MEP and made the claim that UKIP cannot be racist because he is Asian.
One UKIP candidate then claims his rivals should be hanged for treason, another is arrested for an alleged sexual assault, and then newly elected councillor Dave Small is exposed in a homophobia and racism row over comments that Elton John is a ‘pervert’ and immigrants are ‘scum’.
A ‘carnival’ staged by UKIP in Croydon descends into chaos after clashes between protesters and party supporters – leading Nigel Farage to decide against turning up at all. Winston McKenzie then fails in his election bid after calling Croydon ‘a dump’.
Another newly elected councillor claims Romanians are ‘a problem’ and responsible for thefts in his town, and UKIP is slammed after a party leaflet emerges which uses the graves of Britain’s war dead to attack immigration.
UKIP also came first in the EU Elections.
UKIP’s Newark by-election candidate Roger Helmer makes an early appearance in June with his remarks that the NHS should fund ‘gay cure’ therapy, whilst another UKIP MEP is exposed for employing ‘dozens’ of immigrants and keeping them in ‘bunkhouses’. The Tories win in Newark with 45% of the vote.
Nigel Farage declares £205,603 worth of accumulated benefits-in-kind to the Electoral Commission.
Nigel Farage joins forces with a Swedish far right party founded by white supremacists and a French MEP who was elected for Marine Le Pen’s Front National. Another UKIP councillor is forced to resign for making homophobic and racist remarks.
The Express then suggests UKIP may join the French National front to gain power in Europe. Chukka Umunna is racially abused on a large scale on the UKIP Facebook page for comments he made about UKIP voters.
A prominent UKIP campaign manager is also told to stop liking Britain First posts on Facebook and a UKIP councillor resigns after a scuffle with a protestor.
Neil Hamilton is left rather embarrassed after he wrongly accuses a Labour MP of visiting brothels. UKIP councillor Gordon Gillick also claims that obese and badly educated poor people are ‘very content to be a burden on the state’.
An ex-con former brothel madam is revealed as a UKIP fundraiser, whilst it’s also revealed UKIP made £800,000 from selling umbrellas, polyester ties and bumper stickers.
Yarmouth UKIP’s Matthew Smith stands down over fraud charges and another UKIP Councillor is accused of ‘scaring people with made-up information’ after he branded an Islamic procession in Ilford ‘a call to war’.
UKIP MEP Steven Woolfe claims he was ‘only joking’ after saying that if ‘jihadist terrorists’ came to Chester he would ask them to ‘get’ the controversial new NHS supercentre being built in the city centre.
August begins with a former Golcar UKIP candidate Greg Broome quitting the branch chairman role following an assault conviction.
Then UKIP MEP Bill Etheridge finds himself at the centre of a row after highlighting Adolf Hitler’s speeches, saying he had ‘achieved a great deal’ and had a ‘magnetic personality’ during a talk on effective public speaking to young members. Later in the month a senior member of UKIP quits after suffering ‘online racial abuse’ at the hands of another party supporter.
Ex-UKIP MEP Godfrey Bloom’s firm is then fined £2 million for ‘negligent advice’ given to a couple, and at the end of the month ex-UKIP election candidate Ronald John Loebell appears in court on child grooming charges. He was eventually jailed for 2 years.
September is an interesting month beginning with UKIP’s Roger Lord threatening to ‘rip out’ Douglas Carswell’s throat after being ousted as Clacton candidate. UKIP’s candidate Elizabeth Jones gets very angry on a live radio broadcast.
UKIP declares there will be no further action against the UKIP MEP Janice Atkinson after she describes a Thai woman as a ‘ting tong’.
A UKIP councillor calls for the end to translation services to ‘shorten time taken by indifferent people to learn and understand English’ and UKIP is mocked for sending out headhunting letters to opposition councillors, but failing to pay enough in postage.
A UKIP MEP launches a foul-mouthed attack on fellow Scottish politicians and describes gay Tory leader Ruth Davidson as a ‘fat lesbian’. UKIP Scotland comes under fire for inviting a member of the far right Sweden Democrats to Scotland for talks.
Labour’s Chukka Umunna is then accused of racism by UKIP (including the MEP Jane Collins) based on words he ‘never used’ – more information here.
UKIP is accused of politicising the Rotherham abuse scandal, (more info here) and it emerges that former Tory donors are bankrolling UKIP to tune of £2.25 million.
Towards the end of the month, a wave of graffiti begins to appear on UKIP billboards across the country.
A row breaks out and police speak to UKIP after they post an accusing letter through letterboxes. The letter suggested that Bolton council was being investigated over alleged child sex abuse. Then a Bansky mural in Clacton-on-Sea taking a swipe at UKIP rhetoric is removed after a single complaint.
UKIP is then revealed as having links with the US Tea Party, being active climate change deniers and in ‘bed with corporate America’.
Ex-Tory Donor Aaron Banks donates £1 million to the party. It’s also revealed that he was once arrested for harassing a female executive and given an ‘official warning’.
UKIP gains its first MP in Clacton and narrowly misses victory in Heywood.
UKIP then does a deal with a far-right, racist Holocaust-denier to save EU funding.
Former UKIP candidate and boxing manager Kellie Maloney states that she regrets making a string of homophobic comments in the past as a UKIP candidate.
The Independent also claims UKIP are ‘exploiting the grooming scandal’ to secure the party’s first police chief. Godfrey Bloom quits UKIP and warns Carswell of ‘backstabbers’.
UKIP MEP David Coburn claims gay marriage supporters are ‘equality Nazis’, and the fake doctorate of UKIP’s Andrew Charalambous, the party’s housing and environment spokesman, is exposed.
A UKIP ‘key seat’ candidate is removed after admitting six animal welfare charges, and Chuka Umunna says that UKIP are ‘vile, abhorrent and un-British’. Former BBC Radio 1 DJ Mike Read requests a song he wrote in support of UKIP be withdrawn from sale following complaints that it was racist.
In the run-up to the Rochester and Strood by-election, the far-right Britain First’s candidate Jayda Fransen tells reporters that she is ‘encouraging supporters to vote for UKIP’. Meanwhile UKIP campaigners pose for a picture with Britain First, but claim it was a ‘mistake’.
On a lighter note, UKIP deputy leader Paul Nuttall is forced to deny he used to be Bungle from Rainbow after an internet prank and singer Jamelia describes UKIP as ‘knobs’.
UKIP’s Jane Collins apologises for calling a charity boss a paedophile and fellow MEP Paul Nuttall refers to Herman Van Rompuy as ‘Comical Ali’.
John Major calls UKIP the ‘anti-everything party‘ and Nigel Farage claims Germany should have been forced to unconditionally surrender, even if it cost 100,000 more casualties.
Farage is accused of making Remembrance Day ‘all about him’. UKIP is also criticised after laying a wreath in Chatham with party’s branding at a remembrance service.
UKIP candidate Mark Reckless praises former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi but still wins the Rochester and Strood by-election.
It’s also revealed that Britain First and UKIP were ‘talking regularly’ in Rochester. UKIP mistakes Westminster Cathedral for a mosque. (Meanwhile Britain First threaten to sabotage the building of a mosque near Birmingham by ‘burying a pig on the site’.)
Former UKIP regional chairman Peter Entwistle is jailed for grooming children and thugs claiming to be from UKIP attack a disabled pensioner as she campaigned for Labour.
Nigel Farage then claims babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children! A top UKIP aide is revealed as having links to race hate groups.
Finally, Nick Griffin from the BNP gives his support to UKIP and states he will be voting for them.
A shocking survey carried out by UKIP comes to light in which party members are asked to ‘rate blacks, Muslims and other immigrant groups’ for a chance to win £100.
Nigel Farage claims he is the poorest man in politics and it’s revealed he acted as chauffeur to his ‘political hero’ Enoch Powell at a UKIP by-election rally in 1993.
He then blames immigration for being late for a public talk. On Twitter, UKIP local branches are being impersonated by a plague of fake accounts and UKIP claim it’s a ‘coordinated campaign to discredit them with fake messages’.
UKIP are kicked out of their London offices after HIV activists dumped horse manure outside. It’s also revealed that the party ‘spies’ on its enemies, whilst the police are accused of a bid to shut down a Mail On Sunday investigation of UKIP. The Times claims that UKIP are ‘fixing’ selection of candidates.
A rising star of UKIP poses for a snap with a Polish far-right leader who defended Hitler and said women are too stupid to vote.
Deputy chairman Neil Hamilton is shown pictured speaking at a white supremacist club in South Africa and UKIP MEP Janice Atkinson is in the news again, this time for not paying her child support.
Meanwhile, David Coburn, UKIP MEP, is ridiculed on Twitter after calling for a ban on the spoof Trumpton account, and a former UKIP member claims Liverpool Football Club are ‘cursed by God for supporting a gay pride event’. Also, UKIP suspends Winston McKenzie (the chairman of its Lambeth and North Croydon branch), but not before he compares Nigel Farage to Jesus.
Far-right activist Tommy Robinson AGAIN announces his support for UKIP, this time for the next general election. Gary Bainbridge of the Mirror writes that voting for UKIP is an ‘act of self-harm’.
UKIP secures control of £1.5m in EU cash though some of its members voice concerns about jumping aboard the ‘EU gravy train’. Party donor Aaron Banks is exposed again, this time as being behind a website attacking the main parties and accusing them of ‘killing Christmas’.
Kerry Smith quits as UKIP parliamentary candidate for offensive remarks that emerged in a recording obtained by the Mail On Sunday. Bizarrely, Smith blames the outburst on his ‘strong medication’. He later claims that he had been the victim of a ‘witchhunt‘ and accuses UKIP’s ‘backstabbers‘.
Nigel Farage defends the comments Smith made. UKIP’s two MPs fail to comment.
A UKIP member hangs the Union flag upside down. Mark Reckless gets into a spot of bother with the Tories and crowdsources his legal fees. UKIP clears Roger Bird of sexual impropriety but then suspends him from the party.
UKIP then decides to tell its members not to go on Twitter and changes its constitution to prevent unauthorised use of the UKIP logo. UKIP councillor Rozanne Duncan is expelled for ‘jaw-dropping’ comments yet to be broadcast. Farage attacks the UKIP parody app developed by school children called UKIK which features Nicholas Fromage.
Even more bizarrely, a UKIP candidate makes connections between homosexuality and bestiality, and claims a gay donkey raped his horse.
The UKIP official in charge of vetting candidates admits he spends half his time ‘weeding out the lunatics’. Martyn Heale, UKIP’s chairman in the constituency where Nigel Farage is standing for election, is revealed again as an ex-National Front member.
Finally in 2014, Kent county councillor Trevor Shonk claims that the immigration ‘overload’ has made the people of the UK racist!