A Ukip parliamentary candidate who claimed in December 2014 that a "homosexual donkey" had raped his horse, is now standing to become leader of the party.
While making comments to protesters outside a campaign office in Merthyr Tydfil, John Rees-Evans was confronted by fellow party members who said "some homosexuals prefer sex with animals".
Actually, I’ve witnessed that. I’ve got a horse and it was there in the field. And a donkey came up, which was male, and I’m afraid tried to rape my horse.
At the time the Ukip parliamentary later clarified he shared his party's "libertarian views".
Mr Rees-Evans told The Independent that he was in:
no position to declare that one particular form of sexual appetite is any more legitimate than any other.
My own background is quite traditional. For me, any kind of non-conventional relationship that people have, I would say I don’t really understand the attraction, but we are a libertarian party.
People can do pretty much anything they like in the privacy of their own homes as long as it doesn’t affect other people.
The 36 year old, who ran for the Cardiff South and Penarth seat in the May election, losing to Labour's Stephen Doughty, has since apologised for the donkey soundbite:
It was a bit of playful banter with a mischievous activist, I’m sorry if I offended anyone in doing that.
I concede it was a mistake to be playful with an activist in a street. The fact is I’m not a politician. The guy was just asking me questions in the street. It was an error of judgment.
He is now running for the party's leadership. Yes, really.
The contest was thrown open after Diane James resigned as leader and former leadership frontrunner Steven Woolfe resigned from the party, weeks after collapsing in European parliament following an altercation with a fellow Ukip MEP.
Mr Rees-Evans said of his leadership bid:
Ukip is a party of fighters and what I’m proposing to do is direct all that aggression towards the enemy.
The enemy is any kind of politics in Britain that doesn’t represent the will of the people – the politics that puts people into positions of power, to pursue their own agendas, rather than the agenda that the British people give them.
He joins Paul Nuttal, Suzanne Evans, and Raheem Kassam as a candidate in the leadership race, following Diane James' resignation after a week as leader, following Nigel Farage's resignation after his reinstatement as party leader, following Nigel Farage's resignation after the May 2015 general election.