Ukip's seal-hating, gay-baiting, victim-blaming candidate for the Newark by-election on Thursday, Roger Helmer, has had his moustache bristled by a Mail on Sunday interview. The interview, conducted by political editor Simon Walters, revealed that he "says NHS should try to 'turn' gay people straight". But Helmer – whose website's strapline is, pleasingly, "Straight Talking" – has taken issue with the paper's angle. He's written an angry letter to Walters accusing him of writing "simply a pre-cooked hatchet job".
Here's what riled him the most:
- He asserts that rather than being pro-"gay cure" therapy, he finds the gay lobby's criticism of such supposed treatments "deeply illiberal, and that if an individual believes that a course of treatment would help him, or might help him, then in a free country he should be entitled to pursue it."
- He particularly takes issue with the Mail reporting that he called for gay cures on the NHS. He "would vehemently oppose" this, because "no treatment should be offered on the NHS unless it is of proven clinical efficacy and demonstrable cost-effectiveness."
- He is enraged by Walters' description of his "retired colonel’s moustache", fulminating: "Had you asked, or had you done a scrap of relevant research, you would have found that I am not a retired colonel, and that I have never served in the Armed Forces at any time."
Helmer, who has expressed support for the badger cull because "it would bring down the exorbitant price of shaving brushes", is threatening to go to the Press Complaints Commission unless he receives an apology before Thursday's by-election.