LONDON — Two UKIP officials based in Merseyside have resigned over Paul Nuttall’s “
upsetting and intolerable” false claim that he lost personal friends in the Hillsborough disaster.
UKIP’s Liverpool chairman Stuart Monkcom and Merseyside spokesman Adam Heatherington said that Nuttall’s misleading claim and handling of the subsequent backlash was “crass” and “insensitive” in a statement on Monday.
Nuttall, also from Merseyside, sparked outrage last week when he was forced to admit that a claim posted on his personal website that he lost close friends in the 1989 tragedy was false.
The UKIP leader, who is standing in Thursday’s by-election in Stoke-on-Trent Central, said at the party’s spring conference on Friday that he had been a victim of an “almost evil smear campaign” against him by the press.
However, Monkcom and Heatherington quit their positions and terminated their memberships on Monday, with more resignations expected to follow.
In a statement, Monkcom wrote:
“Although the timing of our resignations is unfortunate in light of upcoming elections, both Adam and I wish to make it clear, where the painful subject of Hillsborough is concerned, with closure not yet in sight, this unprofessional approach and crass insensitivity from high profile people closely within and without Ukip is upsetting and intolerable.
“We identify most strongly with all the good people of Liverpool and most importantly the families of the Hillsborough victims who have fought so hard and long for justice, in their condemnation of the way Ukip has handled these issues and have resigned our positions and membership of Ukip forthwith.”
Business Insider has contacted UKIP for comment.
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