Yesterday, the UKIP candidate for Great Yarmouth took part in hustings at a local sixth form college. Catherine Blaiklock, whose campaign slogan is "Make Yarmouth Great Again", has described herself as the real face of UKIP. She believes her political party has been unfairly portrayed as racist. To make this point clear, Blaiklock took out a large framed photograph of her husband – who is black.
We jumped on the phone with Catherine to find out more.
[This interview has been condensed, and edited for clarity]
VICE: Why did you take out a framed photograph of your husband, who is black, at the hustings?
Catherine Blaiklock: Well, I think there's a general perception, which is completely wrong, that people who voted [to leave the European Union] are racists. I actually have many friends who are Caribbean and many friends who are Indian, who voted out.
Is it a photograph that you took from home, or is it one you use especially to make the point that your husband is black?
Well, I've never made the point before because this was the first hustings I've ever done. But I mainly wanted to get over the fact that, for example, if Steven Woolfe [a former prospective leader of UKIP] had become the head of UKIP, he would have been the first mixed-race leader of a political party in this country. And that point is never made in the media.
There are millions of people who voted out and are not racist, including myself – I sleep with somebody who is black, who is, you know, of Jamaican origin! So I am 100 percent not racist, and many people feel quite strongly that they didn't like it when Dianne Abbott said there were 17.5 million racists in this country [see actual comments here] – No! There are not.
Do you think it's possible to have a partner who is of a different race and also be in a party that mobilises race in an unsavoury way?
I don't think UKIP does mobilise race. I disagree entirely with that perception. In fact, we are the only party that vets against people who've been in the BNP.
Do you think Nigel Farage's "Breaking Point" poster, which depicted masses of brown-skinned migrants and refugees, was racist?
Well, I think we would have an issue if we decided to take 3 million South African whites as well.
But why did he use that particular image?
Because – I actually just think that was, I don't think it's particularly… There's an issue with political correctness and calling a spade a spade. We are, at the moment, hardly able to… Oxford University have suggested that you can't call people Ms, Mrs, Mr – we must call them "cis", I believe. [This is untrue.] But most people in the world, of course there are people who have different sexual opinions, recognise: a man and a woman.
But no, I don't. I think it's a numbers issues.
Have you ever been accused of being in racist by virtue of being in UKIP?
No, never. Never. Never. Absolutely never. No. I just want to say it's important to shatter stereotypes. I know numerous people who voted Leave. We have Jewish people, all sorts of races, who want to be out. Yes, there is nothing more important than shattering stereotypes.
Yes. It is really important.