A veteran lawmaker from the UK Independence Party (UKIP) was stripped of the party whip on Friday after describing a room full of women as “sluts,” the party said.
Godfrey Bloom, who sits in the European Parliament, had “gone too far,” UKIP leader Nigel Farage said.
Farage, who had earlier given a speech to UKIP’s annual conference, told the BBC before the decision: “My recommendation is that we now today remove the party whip.”
He said 63-year-old Bloom’s behavior had been “selfish” and was overshadowing “all the good things” happening at the conference.
“The trouble with Godfrey is that he is not a racist, he’s not an extremist or any of those things and he’s not even anti-women, but he has a sort of rather old-fashioned territorial army sense of humor which does not translate very well in modern Britain,” Farage said.
“What he ought to have learned is that time and time again he says things that overshadow the whole agenda that UKIP is fighting for,” he added.
The whip was withdrawn after a formal disciplinary hearing.
Bloom made the comment at a fringe meeting at the party’s annual conference in London, when he referred to previous comments he had made about women failing to clean behind the fridge.
When women delegates at the meeting protested that they had never cleaned behind their fridges, he said: “This place is full of sluts.”
Bloom, who represents Yorkshire and Humber in northern England, had to defend himself earlier this year when he complained that British aid was going to “bongo-bongo land,” in a reference to developing countries.
UKIP believes Britain should pull out of the EU and is anti-immigration. Although the party does not have a single seat in British parliament, it made strong gains in local elections this year and could take away votes from British Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative Party at the 2015 general election.