'Lenny Henry should emigrate to a black country': Ukip candidate tells the comic he 'does not have to live with whites' in response to comments on lack of ethnic minorities on television
- William Henwood, of Enfield, north London, made comment on Twitter
- Henry had said ethnic minorities are under-represented on British TV
- Mr Henwood has also posted in past comparing Islam to Third Reich
- 66-year-old is standing in next month's Enfield local council elections
- He claims to have studied at a college in Johannesburg, South Africa
- Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt says the comments on Henry are racist
By MARK DUELL
PUBLISHED: 13:48, 27 April 2014 | UPDATED: 17:15, 27 April 2014
A Ukip candidate was today facing a huge backlash after suggesting comedian Lenny Henry should emigrate to a ‘black country’.
William Henwood, of Enfield, north London, made the comment on Twitter in response to a speech by Henry in which he said ethnic minorities were under-represented on British TV.
The 66-year-old - who has since defended his tweet about Henry, but has also posted in the past comparing Islam to the Third Reich - is standing in next month's local council elections in Enfield.
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Comments: William Henwood (left), of Enfield, north London, made the comment on Twitter in response to a speech by Lenny Henry (right) in which he said ethnic minorities were under-represented on British TV
Mr Henwood - who claims on his Google+ page to have studied at a college in South Africa in 1968 - tweeted of Henry: ‘He should emigrate to a black country. He does not have to live with whites.’
Defending the remark, he later told the BBC: ‘I think if black people come to this country and don't like mixing with white people why are they here?
‘If he (Henry) wants a lot of blacks around go and live in a black country.’ On another occasion, Mr Henwood tweeted: ‘Islam reminds me of the 3rd Reich Strength through violence against the citizens.’
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said the comments on Henry were racist. He told Pienaar's Politics on BBC Radio 5 Live: ‘I do think those comments about Lenny Henry were absolutely disgusting.
‘[And] it's for Nigel Farage to make absolutely clear that it's not Ukip's official view, but also to explain why so many people with those kinds of view seem to be attracted to becoming candidates for Ukip.’
Explanataion: Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt (left) said that Ukip leader Nigel Farage (right) must 'explain why so many people with those kinds of view seem to be attracted to becoming candidates' for the party
Asked if he thought the comments were racist, Mr Hunt replied: ‘Yes I do. I think it is and that's why I'd like to hear a very clear denunciation of that from Nigel Farage.
LENNY HENRY: SON OF JAMAICAN IMMIGRANTS WHO GREW UP IN UK
The son of Jamaican immigrants, Henry grew up in Dudley, West Midlands.
Lenry Henry is now probably best known to television audiences for advertising a chain of budget hotels.
The 55-year-old first came to the public's attention in 1975 when he was a teenage impressionist on the ITV talent show New Faces, hosted by Derek Hobson.
He delighted audiences with his impersonations of, among others, Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em's Frank Spencer and Liberal MP, author and TV dog food salesman Clement Freud.
Henry then worked on LWT sitcom The Fosters and joined Chris Tarrant on Tiswas. In the 1980s, he was given his own show by the BBC.
He later starred in BBC sitcom Chef but his TV career has waned in recent years and his most regular appearance is on Premier Inn adverts.
In 2010 he divorced from the comedienne Dawn French after 25 years of marriage.
'I think it's totally unacceptable and (Henry) is as British as you and I are.’
Told the comments had been denounced by a Ukip MEP, Mr Hunt added: ‘Good.
'I'd really like to see that because I think there is a broader risk for Ukip here because they position themselves as the patriotic party, they plaster the Union Jack all over their leaflets but actually there's something very un-British about this kind of language, very unpleasant.
‘We are not a divisive country. We want to be a country - all parts of the political spectrum - where we avoid that kind of rhetoric and I think that's where there are some real dangers for Ukip.’
Ukip deputy chairman Neil Hamilton, a former Tory MP, said the comments on Henry were a ‘complete distraction’ from the European election campaign, adding Mr Henwood's case would be investigated.
He told Pienaar's Politics: ‘This is a council candidate whom you would have never have heard but for all the social media archaeologists that are employed by Labour, the Liberal party and the Tories to try and track down any unknown Ukip member or activist who may have said something unpleasant on social media.
‘Every party has got them. We have strict rules on racism. We don't allow it.
Other case: Last week builder Andre Lampitt, seeking to become a councillor in Merton, south London, was suspended by Ukip after making racist remarks on Twitter that the party said were 'repellent'
'We're the only party that doesn't allow ex-BNP or National Front members to be candidates and we have strict rules on social media. I know because I helped to devise them. This man's case will be investigated.’
WHAT DID THE COMEDIAN SAY?
Henry said earlier this month that he wanted the public to join his campaign to put more ethnic minorities on the screen.
He has been engaged in private discussions with Ed Vaizey, the Culture minister, and senior broadcasting figures, Lord Hall, the BBC Director General and Peter Fincham, the chief executive of ITV, to discuss his campaign to put more ethnic minorities on the screen.
Henry - who wants the public to force politicians to make the change - has been campaigning on the issue for six years and is hopeful that change is imminent.
He said: ‘There will be a call to arms. Nothing happens without conflict and this is our time to stop moaning to ourselves and to take the argument public.
‘All of those people in the audience who watch those shows and complain that there aren’t enough black and Asian [people], and gay and women and people with disabilities and transgender… they need to start lobbying, to start writing letters, they need to start emailing.'
Mr Henwood - who says on his Facebook page that he studied at Middlesex University and Damelin Collage in Johannesburg - lives on a road with an average house value of £326,000.
His comments were reported after Ukip launched an investigation into another of its aspiring politicians last night after apparently homophobic and racist comments came to light.
On March 29, the day gay marriage was made legal in the UK, Robert Bilcliff, who is standing to be a councillor in Tamworth, Staffordshire, took to Twitter to declare: ‘Sad day for all us straight people.’
A separate Facebook post in July 2012 allegedly made a joke against Muslims.
Mr Bilcliff admitted he could see how his comments could be viewed as homophobic and racist, but said he was neither. He said: ‘I have many friends of different nationalities but I enjoy a joke every now and again.’
A UKIP spokesman said the matter had been referred to the party’s national executive with a view to disciplinary action.
Last week builder Andre Lampitt, seeking to become a councillor in Merton, south London, and who featured in a UKIP election broadcast, was suspended after making racist remarks on Twitter that the party said were ‘repellent’
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2614283/Ukip-candidate-William-Henwood-tells-Lenny-Henry-emigrate-black-country.html#ixzz307cMiRGU
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