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Letter to newspaper prompted UKIP gay marriage row

The row over a UKIP councillor blaming the recent storms and flooding on the legalisation of gay marriage was caused by a letter to his local newspaper, it has emerged.

David Silvester, a Henley town councillor, wrote the letter to the Henley Standard in which he blamed Prime Minister David Cameron for the bad weather, saying he had “arrogantly acted against the Gospel.”

In the letter to the independent weekly, he said he had warned Mr Cameron that the new law would result in “disasters.”

The publication of the letter plunged UKIP into national controversy and on Sunday, the party said it had no choice but to suspend him.

A UKIP spokesman told the paper: “We cannot have any individual, however high or low profile, making outlandish remarks under the party banner.

“Everyone is entitled to their own religious ideology, which is central to a free and fair society and we would again like to reinforce that Cllr Silvester’s views are his own and in no way reflect the party’s position.

“However, Cllr Silvester has acted contrary to party requests and continued to court the media in order to promote his own personal beliefs. This has caused significant offence to many people and goes against the core principals of UKIP.”

Cllr Silvester joined UKIP a year ago after leaving the Conservative party in protest at the legalisation of gay marriage.

In his letter to the Standard, he wrote: “Since the passage of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act, the nation has been beset by serious storms and floods.

“One recent one caused the worst flooding for 60 years. The Christmas floods were the worst in 127 years. Is this just ‘global warming’ or is there something more serious at work?

“The scriptures make it abundantly clear that a Christian nation that abandons its faith and acts contrary to the Gospel (and in naked breach of a coronation oath) will be beset by natural disasters such as storms, disease, pestilence and war.

“Now, even as Cameron sheds crocodile tears on behalf of destitute flooded homeowners, playing at advocate against the very local councils he has made cash-strapped, it is his fault that large swathes of the nation have been afflicted by storms and floods.

“He has arrogantly acted against the Gospel that once made Britain ‘great’ and the lesson surely to be learned is that no man or men, however powerful, can mess with Almighty God with impunity and get away with it for everything a nation does is weighed on the scales of divine approval or disapproval.”

The paper declined to comment on the letter.


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  • January 21, 2014 at 8:06 am

    Such a shame that just about the only media organisation not to carry the story over the weekend….was the Henley Standard! Clearly, unlike everyone else, they didn’t realise they had a national story sitting in their letters pages!
    Nothing too much for the Henley Standard team to to be proud of journalistically!

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  • January 21, 2014 at 10:47 am

    I’ve seen the paper.
    The letter is in the middle of the second letters page with the headline “Divine Disapproval”.
    No comment, no other story relating to it.
    I can’t understand how the editor didn’t spot how big a story it was.

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