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New Halesowen and Rowley Regis UKIP MP hopeful already in hot water
8:00am Wednesday 27th February 2013 in Local
Dean Perks also courted controversy by lauding controversial anti-immigration politician Enoch Powell as “a visionary” - a mistake which forced prospective Tory candidate Nigel Hastilow to resign in 2008.
In launching his campaign last week Mr Perks said: “I hope to show people a new type of politician.
“It is not my intention to bad mouth or attack any other candidates as I believe we should all be in the running for the same purpose.”
However on Sunday he was involved in an ugly Twitter spat which resulted him writing about a fellow user of the social media site: “I just asked the question but he will not answer, I think he may be retarded.”
This followed on from an ugly argument with Gornal Labour councillor Dave Branwood who asked Mr Perks whether he thought Enoch Powell, whose 1968 Rivers of Blood speech caused his own downfall and is reviled by many to this day, was racist.
Mr Perks replied: “No. It's a fact he was very well liked amongst the Asian community. I'd say he was a visionary.”
This led to anti-facist, left wing politicians, including Dudley North Ian Austin MP and several other outraged Twitter users to round on Mr Perks calling him racist.
However, Mr Perks, fighting a rearguard action, denied he is racist.
He said: “I have never studied Enoch Powell. I'm not racist because I'm not afraid to have an opinion. I have a Muslim godson, a Sikh brother-in-law and three mixed race cousins.”