Belfast Telegraph

PR man for Ukip Hermann Kelly in favour of a united Ireland

By Claire Williamson

Ukip has distanced itself from a Press officer's comments made on Northern Ireland radio where he said he was in favour of a United Ireland.

Hermann Kelly was billed on BBC Talkback as a Press officer for Ukip and when challenged referred to himself as "a Press officer for Ukip in Brussels".

He made his comments during a debate on whether the United Kingdom Independence Party could be a political game-changer in Northern Ireland.

When arguing that Ukip was a non-sectarian party, Mr Kelly described his background in the Bogside of Derry.

When asked, he agreed he remained a nationalist within Ukip.

He was asked: "So you support the idea of a United Ireland but you are in Ukip?" to which he responded, "Yes."

He said: "I now live and work in Brussels. I don't have a vote in the North of Ireland, I won't be having any decisive powers on the status of Northern Ireland."

When further questioned he said: "I'm only giving my own personal view.

"The position of the party is different.

"You asked me my own personal opinion.

"This is who I am, it's important to have an identity.

"I work for a party, I believe what the party stands for."

In response to the comments Ukip's deputy leader Paul Nuttall MEP argued that Mr Kelly was appearing in a personal capacity and not as a party Press officer.

Mr Nuttall said: "Earlier today Brussels-based EFDD Press officer Hermann Kelly appeared on BBC Radio Ulster and made some statements that seemed to contradict official Ukip policy in Northern Ireland.

"Mr Kelly appeared in a personal capacity and not as a Ukip Northern Ireland spokesperson. Ukip totally disassociates itself with the comments made today on BBC Radio Ulster by Mr Kelly.

"Ukip is a non-sectarian unionist party that is fully committed to the union.

"It is in fact the only party with elected representation in all four parts of the United Kingdom."

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