A senior Ukip staff member repeatedly told a black women’s rights campaigner that, while he was racist, he would still like to have sex with her, it has been alleged.
Nimco Ali, the co-founder of the group Daughters of Eve, which campaigns against female genital mutilation (FGM), told the Guardian she was disgusted by the behaviour of Gawain Towler, the party’s head of press, who made the comments to her at an event on Tuesday night.
The alleged incident happened at an event to mark the 60th anniversary of BBC Radio 4’s Today programme in the City of London. Ali said Towler told her privately, then again in front of other guests: “I am racist but you’re beautiful, so I would do you.” Afterwards, she said, he followed her outside and tried to lead her away, saying he wanted to buy her a drink.
Gawain can indeed have a fairly dry sense of humour:
On Wednesday, he apologised, saying: “I am an admirer of Nimco Ali’s work, but clearly misjudged our meeting at a very convivial BBC event.
“I did say ‘I’m a racist’ but, as always, it was an ironic response to people’s kneejerk reaction on learning that I work for Ukip. I certainly did not intend to cause any upset or distress to Ms Ali and apologise unreservedly for having done so.”
He added: “Whilst I of course apologise for anything I might have done to make Ms Ali feel uncomfortable, during what I believed to a lighthearted conversation, I vehemently deny ever having used the language suggested by Ms Ali, or propositioning her in any way.”
That sounds rather more likely.
As to Gawain actually being racist perhaps someone would like to have a chat with his second wife (or, at least, I think she is, definitely mother of at least one child of his). A doctor of South Indian extraction who is as melanin enhanced as Ms. Ali. That doesn’t disprove the proposition remark of course (my own recollection from having worked with him is that he doesn’t spray the pork sword around) but might well say something about the racism point.