The man picked to fight a key Ukip target seat at the next election has been recorded making a homophobic and racist rant in which he jokes about shooting peasants.
Kerry Smith, who has high hopes to win the seat of Basildon South in Essex, mocked gay people as “disgusting pooftahs”, referred to a woman with a Chinese name as a “chinky bird” and joked about the residents of Chigwell shooting “peasants” in a “hunt”.
In the rant he described the fact that Ukip’s LGBTQ was allowed to use the party’s logo with a rainbow flag as “f***ing disgusting”.
A recording of the conversation was obtained by the Mail on Sunday newspaper.
Despite the rant, a well-placed Ukip official told the paper that Mr Smith, who is already a serving councillor in Essex, would be unlikely to step aside over the outburst.
“Kerry wants to make a full apology and is hoping it all blows over,” he said.
Mr Smith said he was on “strong” medication at the time of the comments, which he stressed were made in a private conversation two-and-a-half years ago.
He issued a full apology, passed to the Independent through a Ukip spokesperson: "I wish to issue a wholehearted and unreserved apology to those I have offended within the party and anyone else," he said after his were made public.
"For the record I was also on a strong morphine based prescription medication for a back injury."
Mr Smith was only last week selected to be the party’s candidate for Basildon South, chosen ahead of former Tory MP Neil Hamilton, who stood down from the process at the eleventh hour.
Mr Hamilton alleged that Ukip insiders had used “the black arts of selective briefing, misrepresentation and outright lies” against him in order to ensure that he did not become the party’s candidate.
Basildon South is considered a winnable seat for the party and its candidacy has been the source of a number of internal disputes.