Ukip MEP Stuart Agnew backs leader Gerard Batten over Islam ‘death cult’ comment
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An East of England MEP has defended controversial comments by Ukip leader Gerard Batten describing Islam as a 'death cult'.
Stuart Agnew, who represents the east for Mr Batten's party in the European Parliament, said the remarks made multiple times by his party leader were justified by the Sultan of Brunei's recent declaration that gay sex in his country should be punished by stoning to death.
Speaking as the party prepared to launch its European elections campaign in Middlesbrough on Wednesday, Mr Agnew said the Muslim community in Britain should have come out 'en masse' to condemn his remarks.
'He (Mr Batten) said the word 'death cult'. The Sultan of Brunei justified that,' he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.
'The Sultan of Brunei said 'from now on, in this country, in the name of Islam, homosexuals are to be stoned to death.'
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'Why didn't they [the Muslim community[ come out en masse in this country and say 'we thoroughly condemn [the comments]'?'
Mr Agnew rejected suggestions that there should be organised Christian marches against anti-gay policies in Africa.
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'We are not a proselytising religion. We don't force ourselves on other religions,' he said.
'We, as Christians, adhere to the law. We are not trying to create a second legal system in this country.
'That in itself is very worrying.'
At the launch Mr Batten said was the only political party with a clear policy on how to leave Europe.
Mr Batten, speaking in front of a campaign bus emblazoned with the slogan 'Tell them again! Vote Ukip', said a vote for his party would be a vote to leave the EU.
He said: 'If they do that, they will send a clear message to our politicians in Westminster.'
Mr Batten said Ukip's policy included no second referendum, as holding one would mean 'the effective end of democracy in this country'.
He told the crowd of around 50: 'Our government needs to stop asking the European Union how it can leave and start telling them how it's going to happen.
'We need a plan of how to make it happen and Ukip has that plan.
'And we don't mind if the Government steals our plan because it's going to be very good for our country.'