Ukip's newly-selected Newark candidate Roger Helmer has told ITV News political correspondent Libby Weiner that the seat is an "enormous opportunity for the party".
Asked if some of his views regarding homosexuality were controversial, he replied: "They were a couple of peripheral comments made more than 10 years ago. The world has changed, it's a new place now."
Ukip's newly-selected candidate for the Newark by-election Roger Helmer has dismissed suggestions he's encouraged homophobia in the past.
Mr Helmer, currently an MEP, blamed the media for dragging up what he called a "couple of peripheral comments that were made more than ten years ago".
Asked if he stood by his comments that some people found homosexuality distasteful, he said: "Some people dislike it and this is a fact. Some people do all sorts of things, that doesn't mean I commend them."
Ukip have selected East Midlands MEP Roger Helmer to run in the Newark by-election triggered by the recent resignation of Tory MP Patrick Mercer.
Mr Helmer, who defected from the Conservatives in 2012, has come under fire for remarks about homosexuality.
He has said that some people find same-sex relationships "distasteful, if not viscerally repugnant".
Ukip leader Nigel Farage also rebuked him for writing a blog that appeared to draw comparison between same-sex marriage and incest.
However Mr Helmer has insisted he is "liberal and tolerant" about homosexuality and has "no interest in telling consenting adults what they may or may not do".
Fellow Ukip MEP Roger Helmer has criticised Godfrey Bloom, who has had the party whip removed after calling women "sluts" at a Ukip fringe event.
Mr Helmer told Channel 4 News: