After 73-year-old UKIP Councillor David Silvester blamed David Cameron’s legalization of marriage equality for the recent onset of flooding in the UK, a petition demanding his resignation has received over 8,000 signatures.
On Friday, January 17, Silvester wrote an open letter to the Henley Standard, blaming the same-sex marriage bill for the flooding. In the letter he wrote, “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.”
He then went on to say that he had attempted to warn Cameron in 2012 that the same-sex marriage bill would lead to disasters “but he went ahead despite a 600,000-signature petition by concerned Christians and more than half of his own parliamentary party saying that he should not do so.”
He also claimed that Cameron had “arrogantly acted against the Gospel that once made Britain ‘great.’”
Silvester resigned from the Conservative party and joined UKIP at the start of 2013 as a sign of protest against the equal marriage bill.
On Monday January 20, UKIP’s Nigel Farage stated that he had suspended Silvester from the party. However, Silvester told the Henley Standard that he had not been informed of the suspension personally and “until I am I shall regard myself as a fully paid-up member of the party, to whom I recently made a £170 party donation.”
The Henley town council is unable to force him to step down, despite the complaints, and Silvester himself told the Henley Standard that he had no intention of resigning.
The online petition on Change.org, set up by Henley resident Sarah Butcher, asks for Silvester’s resignation not only because he refuses to accept that he was wrong but also in order to ensure that the community of Henley is no longer influenced by him.
Butcher told the Henley Standard: “It seems like an insane thing to comment on, especially when you are representing a demographic in Henley where you’ve got different cultures, ethnicities and sexual orientation.”
In a radio interview with BBC Radio Oxford on Sunday January 19, Silvester told host Charles Nove that he believes what the bible says “about divine repercussions on nations that insist on wrongdoing.”
“God wants homosexuals to repent and be healed. I don’t believe it’s right to leave them as they are,” he added.
Silvester’s actions has led to an amusing social media stunt, in which @UpikTips created a new Twitter account named @UKIPWeather, tweeting (amongst others):
EXTREME WEATHER WARNING! Tonight for the first time, just about half past ten. For the first time in history it’s gonna start rainin’ men
— UkipWeather (@UkipWeather) January 18, 2014