UKIP MEP and Dudley councillor Bill Etheridge is under fire this morning after claims in a national newspaper he coached young people to “speak like Hitler”.
The Mail on Sunday is alleging Mr Etheridge described the WWII Nazi leader as a magnetic and forceful public speaker who achieved a great deal.
The remarks are reported to have been made at a Young Independence Conference in Birmingham last weekend.
Dudley Labour councillor Dave Branwood has been quick to criticise the reported remarks, he said: “There are no words. No, that’s not exactly true. There is one word..why?”.
Mr Etheridge is alleged by the Mail on Sunday to have also told the conference, which included many delegates who are planning to stand as candidates for UKIP: “When Hitler gave speeches, and many of the famous ones were at rallies, at the start he walks, back and forth, looked at people – there was a silence, he waited minutes just looking out at people, fixing them with his gaze.”
Mr Etheridge, despite being voted into two public offices this year, plans to stand for election to the House of Commons in Dudley North at next year’s general election.
He told the Mail: “I was talking about a whole range of public speakers and the techniques they used. I also mentioned Tony Blair.
“At no point did I endorse Hitler or anybody else. I was merely discussing public speaking and the techniques used down the years.
“Hitler and the Nazis were monsters and I am angry that I am even being asked questions about whether we would wish to be linked with them. Yet another cheap shot to deal with from the media.”