Ukip bravado busted as Paul Nuttall admits false Hillsborough claim
Watch: The Ukip leader admitted that claims on his website were not true.
Paul Nuttall has made the staggering admission that claims on his website about losing close friends in the Hillsborough disaster were false.
In an interview with Liverpool’s Radio City News, the Ukip leader was confronted about a post referring to attempts to block publication of files relating to the disaster.
In the 2012 post, Nuttall wrote: “Without them being made public we will never get to the bottom of that appalling tragedy when 96 Liverpool fans including close personal friends of mine lost their lives.”
But today he denied losing any close friends when quizzed by presenter Dave Easson, who was at Hillsborough on the day of the disaster.
“I haven’t lost a close, personal friend. I’ve lost someone who I know,” said the Ukip leader, who is hoping to win the Stoke-on-Trent by-elction next week.
He then suggested that he was not responsible for the statement, which was deleted today.
He said: “I’m sorry about that, but that is something ... I haven’t put that out. That is wrong.”
Nuttall is already facing questions about whether he was at Hillsborough on the day of the 1989 disaster. The Ukip leader has insisted he was there and has strongly denied claims to the contrary, including one friend telling The Guardian that Nuttall had “never spoken” about Hillsborough.
"I know it’s a dirty game but this is beyond scraping the barrel to be perfectly honest with you. It’s upset me personally, it’s upset my family," he said today.
The latest Hillsborough controversy to engulf the Ukip leader came as his party was attempting to capitalise on text messages sent by Labour’s candidate for Stoke-on-Trent Central.
Gareth Snell has apologised for texts from 2010 and 2011 referring to “squabbling sour faced ladies”, a “stupid woman” and a “speccy blond girl”.
So in a bid to keep the story going, UKIP deputy chair Suzanne Evans put out a bold statement calling for Snell to be sacked.
"There is no place in politics for a man with his coarse views of women,” she said. “For the good of Stoke and the people of Stoke he should do something decent and stand down in shame, failing that Labour should remove him".
A top Ukip MEP has quit his key role because of the "Thatcherite" direction the party is heading in.
Parliament commissioned official portraits of hundreds of MPs, but Twitter users prefer to see a cartoon detective and a fearful scientist, among others.
“We’ll definitely leave it there."
The PM plays it safe with this year's holiday photo.