The chairman of the town’s UKIP branch pushed for the party’s local MEP candidate to be deselected for making controversial comments online about rape.

Aubrey Attwater has spoken out against Carl Benjamin after a tweet sent by the MEP candidate for the south west to Labour MP Jess Phillips attracted criticism from other politicians.

Mr Benjamin told Mrs Phillips that he “wouldn’t even rape her” in 2016 and this comment came under fire from a Swindon MP, MEP, and parliamentary candidate within the last week after being dismissed as ‘satire’ by UKIP leader Gerard Batten in a BBC interview.

In a statement to the Adver, Mr Attwater said: “Why this individual has been given this opportunity to become a Member of the European Parliament defeats me.

“I do believe that, from the common evidence of his views, he should be deselected immediately. It certainly does not help our local campaigning for the local elections. I do not like his emphasis on the f-word for effect. He is a self-publicist.”

Mr Attwater included part of Mr Benjamin’s Wikipedia page with his statement to the Adver to support his views on the MEP candidate. The section notes that Mr Benjamin, who calls himself Sargon of Akkad on YouTube, was banned from crowdfunding platform Patreon in 2018 for using racist and homophobic slurs against other users in online arguments and has also been banned from Twitter for tweeting pornography and provocative messages to people who followed him.

The UKIP Swindon chairman also criticised Mr Benjamin for allegedly joining the group under false pretences. He added: "Carl Benjamin joined UKIP in North Wiltshire and his address in Purton means he pays his taxes to Trowbridge. The estate he lives on has only recently been built.

He only attended two UKIP Swindon meetings. At one, he claimed that he lived in North Swindon. This has turned out to be a complete lie. Now we've learned from your excellent newspaper that he claims to be a Swindonian. He has made no other appearance or contribution to UKIP Swindon."

Mr Benjamin responded to this part of Mr Attwater's statement: "I've lived in Swindon for 15 years, recently moved to a new build. And saying I'm a self-publicist is rather redundant given I'm standing for office."

On a national level, UKIP has distanced themselves from his views but still defended him, saying “Mr Benjamin is an ardent supporter of free speech both on the internet and elsewhere.”

Mr Benjamin’s tweet to Jess Phillips MP responded to her concern that “people talking about raping me isn’t fun, but has become somewhat par for the course”. Within the same message, he used the hashtag ‘Feminism Is Cancer’.

When the Adver published an article earlier this week about the controversy this caused, he responded with an image of the Red Dwarf TV show character Ace Rimmer which was captioned ‘Vote me a kipper, I’ll be back for breakfast’