The UK Independence Party has removed the whip from MEP Godfrey Bloom after he called women "sluts" a fringe event.
The Ukip MEP Godfrey Bloom has a history of gaffes and controversies. Here are eight of them.
UKIP leader Nigel Farage has admitted that "it was a mistake" to set up a trust fund for his children in an off-shore tax haven.
Between when Cameron became leader in December 2005 and the May 2010 election, the Conservatives received money from 1,923 donors. In the past three years the Tories have received money from around 1,056 individuals.
The 14 donors who have switched support from the Conservatives to Ukip are:
- Stuart Wheeler, the party’s Treasurer, who gave £3.9m in the last Parliament to the Tories. He has given £300,000 to Ukip since May 2010
- Lord Hesketh, who donated £30,000 to Ukip
- Andrew Perloff, the chairman of Panther Securities
- James Hanson, £10,000
- William Cole, £2,000
- Robin Birley, £15,000
- Michael Stone, £20,000
- John Scott, £7,500
- Sir John Craven £12,500
- William MacDougall, £8,000
- David Caldow, £16,000
- Lord Stevens of Ludgate, £10,002
- Lord Dartmouth, £11,000
- Patrick Barbour, £20,000
Conservative Party donors have abandoned David Cameron and have poured nearly half a million pounds into helping the UK Independence Party (Ukip) fight the next general election, according to a report in the Independent on Sunday.
Fourteen people have realigned their support from the Conservatives to Ukip in the three years since the 2010 election, and have donated £488,000 to Nigel Farage's party.
The newspaper's analysis of Electoral Commission figures reveals that the number of individual donors to the Conservative Part has been cut in half since the election, with average donations falling by £14,000.
Former Ukip MEP Godfrey Bloom has said no "sane" person from a professional background would enter politics these days because they would be vilified for holding convictions.
Mr Bloom is now an Independent MEP for Yorkshire and Humber after he was criticised for calling women at a meeting "sluts" and hitting the Channel Four News journalist Michael Crick over the head with a conference programme.
Writing in the Yorkshire Post, he said: "The vilification and lies overwhelm anyone with conviction."
He said: "Is Bongo Bongo Land offensive? Only if I say it. Nick Robinson, the BBC's political editor, used it in his book Live From Downing Street last year and no one said a word.
"But of course he isn't me."
UKIP leader Nigel Farage said he would not be kicking Godfrey Bloom out of the party because of what he called an "outdated sense of humour".
However, Farage conceded that an outburst from the MEP, in which he called women "sluts", has damaged the party.
"The impression has been given Godfrey thinks somehow women really aren't quite the same as men and really not up to the same standard as men, and that's the impression that the sense of humour has given and that's not been a good thing for us," said Farage.
Godfrey Bloom released a statement announcing that he will sit as an independent MEP but will remain a UKIP member:
– Godfrey Bloom
I have felt for some time now that the ‘New UKIP’ is not really right for me anymore. I shall sit out my term as an independent and give my whole hearted support to Jane Collins who is almost certainly going to be the next UKIP MEP and probably a second seat yet to be decided. I shall of course retain my membership.
Godfrey Bloom says he will sit as an independent MEP until next year's European election but has not quit UKIP.
Mr Bloom, an MEP for Yorkshire and Humber, was stripped of the party whip last week after calling women "sluts" at a UKIP conference fringe event.
Mr Bloom said the "New UKIP" was "not really right for me any more". His spokeswoman said it was not clear whether he would seek re-election for a third term next May.
The controversial UK Independence Party MEP Godfrey Bloom repeatedly refused to answer questions on his future when he was confronted by ITV News.
Mr Bloom, who had the party whip removed from him yesterday for referring to women as "sluts" was asked how his constituents in North Yorkshire would feel about his actions yesterday.
At one point Mr Bloom pushed the camera away. He then laughed when he was asked whether his wife cleaned behind the fridge, and appeared to question the "recruitment procedure" of the channel. Mr Bloom was then pulled away from the camera.
Ukip's chairman has confirmed to ITV News that Godfrey Bloom is not the party's spokesman on the defence or the economy.
TV journalist Michael Crick had earlier cited a party spokesman as saying the MEP remained in both positions despite his suspension for calling women "sluts" at a conference event.
A Ukip spokesman has reportedly confirmed Godfrey Bloom is still party spokesman on defence and the economy despite being suspended from the party's group in the European Parliament for jokingly calling women "sluts" at a conference fringe event.
Channel 4 political correspondent Michael Crick, the TV journalist who Mr Bloom later hit with a copy of the conference brochure, tweeted:
Ukip spokesman confirms Bloom is still party spokesman on defence + economy + still party member. He admits losing Euro Parl whip is nothing
Ukip spokesman clarifies that Godfrey Bloom IS suspended from Ukip group in European Parliament, but that Ukip doesn't whip its MEPs
Ukip leader Nigel Farage has admitted that his party's annual conference has been "slightly overshadowed" by the controversy surrounding MEP Godfrey Bloom.
ITV News' Political Correspondent Romilly Weeks put it to him that "it has all gone a bit pear-shaped":