Lenny Henry: Born in the UK, for what it

Ukip’s Lenny Henry candidate wasn’t even born in UK

Ukip’s Lenny Henry candidate wasn’t even born in UK

Updated: See below

Local election candidates would do anything for some national media coverage, although perhaps not of the type that William Henwood is getting. The Ukip candidate in Enfield has been criticised across the press for demanding comedian Lenny Henry "emigrate to a black country".

Well it now turns out Henwood knows a thing or two about emigrating himself, because unlike Lenny Henry he wasn't actually born here.

A source close to the family has told me that Henwood is originally from South Africa.

Henwood told BBC political correspondent Ross Hawkins: "I think if black people come to this country and don't like mixing with white people why are they here? If [Henry] wants a lot of blacks around go and live in a black country."

On another occasion he tweeted: "Islam reminds me of the 3rd Reich Strength through violence against the citizens."

The rest of his Twitter feed is the standard Ukip guff about being "hung" if you don't agree with Baroness Warsi and a neo-Marxist conspiracy in Brussels.

The response from Ukip has been tepid. Deputy chairman Neil Hamilton said the comments were being investigated, but he spent more time attacking the media for reporting them than he did criticising them, which showed an odd sense of priorities.

Ukip MEP Roger Helmer said the views did not represent the party but again focused on the media's coverage of them, rather than the fact a Ukip candidate would make them in the first place.

I've written to Henwood on Twitter asking if he was born in South Africa. I'll update if I get a response (unlikely).

Update (30/04/14): I've just had it confirmed by a second source that Henwood was born in South Africa. He met his English radiographer wife in the country and came to the UK in 1971 to get married. Then he returned home for a bit and settled here permanently in 1980. It goes without saying that Henwood hasn't contacted me.