William Henwood, UKIP candidate, defends tweets as “not racist”.
Henwood, who is standing for council election in this year’s European elections has tweeted the entire contents of Adolf Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf’ – a cornerstone work of the German Nazi Party, written while Hitler was in prison in Bavaria.
William Henwood took to the social media site today following allegations that previous tweets of his – suggesting that Lenny Henry should go to a “black country” – were “vile racism”.
He has also previously used Twitter to compare Islam to the Third Reich: “Islam reminds me of the 3rd Reich Strength through violence against the citizens.”
He has defended these past tweets, saying that they were “not offensive”. However, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said on BBC Radio 5 Live that the tweets were “absolutely disgusting”.
Henwood’s decision to respond to these allegations of racism by tweeting the entire contents of ‘Mein Kampf’ has been met with staunch opposition and bewilderment from across the political spectrum.
In response to one tweet: “Was there any shady undertaking, any form of foulness, especially in cultural life, in which at least one Jew did not participate?”, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said “wtf are you doing, son?”
A later tweet discussing the pros and cons of offering Christian teachings to “the negro” was retweeted by UKIP Party Leader Nigel Farage, along with the annotation: “Bloody hell Bill, were u in that plane crash too?!? Sort ur head out.”
However, Mr Henwood has shown no signs of “sorting his head out”: with tweets limited to 140 characters, his mission to tweet the entire contents of Mein Kampf will take him hours if not days to complete; despite the evident enthusiasm with which he is tackling the challenge.
A UKIP party spokesman has said of Henwood’s actions: “Every party has at least one maverick. Bill will sort himself out in the end.”
More on this story as it develops.