UKIP burn picture of gay mayoral candidate Brian Paddick in Soho

The above image shows a man burning pictures and leaflets of the Liberal Democrats’ openly-gay mayoral candidate Brian Paddick in the heart of gay London, Soho. What a lovely message for UKIP to send to gay people across the country — posted onto Twitter by a paid party official.

This comes hot on the heels of one of their Oxford candidates telling gay people to stop complaining about “persecution”.

  1. Are they burning it because he’s gay, or because he’s a member of an opposing party?
    If it isn’t being burnt because he’s gay then it should send no message to people who are gay.
    If they were burning the campaign leaflet of a straight middle class middle aged man, it wouldn’t be sending a message to all the straight middle class middle aged men out there.

    If they are burning it because he’s gay, then ignore all that.

  2. @iain

    I’m sure they’ll argue it was just because he’s a Lib Dem. But then, why do it in Soho? The location adds a pretty strong subtext to an action which could otherwise be perhaps explained as business-as-usual.

  3. Wilhemina Bothwell says:

    I suspect this is a twisted, deceitful interpretation of what is going on – all for political purposes and out of desperation…. pathetic.

  4. Wilhemina Bothwell says:

    This has got to be a deceitfully perverted propaganda interpretation of the event – pathetic immature politics.

  5. Mustbsensible says:

    I’m with Iain. Matthew’s sub-text argument from location is about as weak a circumstantial argument as you could find. Just playing the gay card.

  6. Anonymous says:

    It seems this website is the only one drawing any attention to the fact he’s gay! They’re not burning a gay icon, they’re burning a picture of a political opponent!! You’re clearly trying to get attention and make a story where there isn’t one, and you show no concern for members of the gay community who may perceive to be in increased danger of persecution because of it!

  7. Whether it’s a gay, straight or alien politician, this is so not in the spirit of British politics and is a disgraceful way for UKIP to be behaving. Absolutely appalling.

  8. Last I looked, the established gay community of London could only claim the clubs and bars of a few streets as their own. The district of Soho is more famous for a broad choice of adult entertainment with appeal to all tastes and preferences. I would also bet that Brian Paddick would be the last person you would find down Okl Compton Street. Jumping on this as some form of homophobic gesture from party activists when UKIP’s London chairman David Coburn is also openly gay is both lazy and ridiculous.

  9. Neil is right, this is not in the spirit of British politics and it is disgraceful. And as for those apologists for this action, you’re wrong. Choosing Soho, the heart of gay London, to burn photos and literature of the Lib Dems openly gay mayoral candidate is a deliberately provocative and insulting act that will attract attention and the UKIP people responsible know this. This is no accident, they know exactly what they are doing and why.

  10. Glen Wilson says:

    I suppose with the exception of a couple of comments this is the hysterical reaction expected. Not only is David Coburn openly gay so are half the UKIP for London candidates.

  11. Gawain Towler says:


    Given that I tweeted it, I was sent the picture, with the caption by an activist who was out campaigning in Soho last night. It came through to my phone. I looked and saw in the small image smiling types, UKIP banner , thought, that does (on fire, of course suggests going well after all). Ididn’t see teh picture of Paddick, nor the lighter beneath.

    So I tweeted it.

    My bad, I should have studied it more closely. I didn’t.

    I have since learned, that fellow, (a gay man for what it is worth) had just been talking to Paddick, and that was his response to Paddick’s political charms.

    Yup, I really should have looked more closely.

  12. Tom White says:

    The reason this mud sticks is because UKIP has an appalling record when it comes to spouting anti-gay drivel. Don’t believe me? Try talking to a group of their members for 20 minutes.

  13. Tom you sound particularly passionate about the issue. Would you care to have a chat with members who are starting a UKIP LGBT group?

  14. Greg Evans says:

    A slow news day?

    UKIP has a few choice religious conservatives making their typically well-researched, pleasant ramarks; but then so do the Tories and other political parties. Religious conservatives, like it or not (I tend to not…) are a large part of the British population and so it is not surprising that they exist in political parties, particularly those committed to freedom of speech. I hardly think it’s fair to say UKIP has “an appalling record” on gay issues.

  15. Phil Taprogge says:

    Maybe it’s just me, but… nobody seems willing to mention the elephant in the room:
    He’s setting the picture of an opposing candidate on fire!

    This is about as string a “message” as you can send short of leaving a dead horse’s head on someone’s doorstep.

    What does it say about a party who’s supporters show such little respect for people with different opinions?

    In a democracy you can argue and make your views known as loud as you want – but you cannot silence the views of others by threats, no matter how subtle.

  16. Greg Evans says:

    /\ You would say that, from your avatar you’re a furry. If they did it anywhere near you your £2000 suit with “strategically placed holes” would be ruined!

  17. Stevie Masters says:

    I wonder how the people on here who see this as gay propaganda would feel if the Union Flag was being burnt outside Parliament or pictures of the Queen being burnt outside Buckingham Palace? You are deluded if you cannot see the significance of burning the gay Lib/Dem candidate’s picture in Soho!!!! This was a highly provocative act and the thin end of the wedge when it comes to UKIP and anti gay acts. With this, Dr Gasper’s anti gay rants and being successfully taken to an employment tribunal and winning for discrimination against an openly lesbian MEP…. not a great track record on gay rights!!!! Wonder what they are like with other minorities????

  18. I’m sorry to be blunt, but whether it’s homophobia or not is perhaps a moot issue. People who burn images of their political opponents are dickheads, full stop.

    Whether or not UKIP are homophobic dickheads is a detail. This kind of action is not what mature political individuals do. It’s neanderthal behaviour.

  19. @Stevie: Ignore the inbred UKIP nutters in the comment section, their IPs and homes need revoking.

  20. Trevor LeFiles says:

    So I guess people will start burning Muslims, Jew, and Christians now right?
    Or are you just a religiphobic?
    I like what I just did there^^^^^^^^^^
    But forunately I don’t think that people understand the signifigance of being hated for believing in anything and sticking to said belief in anything.
    People are just afraid to put words into actions.
    Half of you people are afraid to make a descision, because your afraid of yourselves.

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