UKIP crime-job hopeful David Gale blasts 'extremist slur' after ban by students
THE UKIP candidate in Thursday's Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner election has condemned a student union for banning him from a campaign event.
David Gale was told he was not welcome at a question-and-answer session for candidates staged by the University of Derby's student group last week.
As reported in the Derby Telegraph on Saturday, the union cited its policy of providing no platform to groups it claims hold "extremist views".
Mr Gale originally declined to comment but has now issued a condemnation.
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He said: "In Derbyshire, UKIP has been joined by ex-members of all three of the old parties, so the silly 'extremist' slur is starting to wear very thin.
"UKIP has the fastest growing and most active youth section in the country and we are proud to stand firm for the right of the British people to be governed by the laws of our own country.
"Just last week I was reporting on the increasing levels of support coming from the Asian community in Normanton.
"None of this will make the slightest difference to my focus on delivering the best possible policing for the people of Derbyshire."
Following Mr Gale's anger at being snubbed, the union has promised to review its stance.
A spokesman said: "Having been made aware of Mr Gale's concerns regarding this policy, the UDSU will review its policies and procedures, to further clarify its position."
The policy was drawn up because the union locally received several student complaints around UKIP policies on immigration.
The union said it had originally invited Mr Gale to the event, last Friday, but he had not confirmed attendance.
A spokesman added: "On the morning of the event, Mr Gale did make contact with the UDSU to be told that in the interim UDSU officials had decided a platform could not be offered to a UKIP candidate.
"It was explained that, acting within UDSU standing orders, it was not felt that UKIP political views were in line with UDSU values."
The move to ban Mr Gale sparked criticism from Derby Telegraph readers as well.
Chris Wardle, a UKIP supporter from Wirksworth, was moved to write to UDSU president James Beckett and, in his letter, called for a public apology.
Mr Wardle said: "Your decision seems to be on the basis that some of your members disagree with certain policies UKIP espouse, even though those stances are perfectly legitimate, could not be construed as offensive to any "group" in any way, and are supported by large sections of the electorate.
"If you are going to behave in this way, why don't you just decide which candidate you'd like to be elected and just invite them?"