Paul Nuttall received strong support from leading members of UKIP after Labour's recent smears
The Ukip leader has received strong support from members within his own party who were adamant the 40-year-old would bounce back and win the Stoke-On-Trent Central by-election on February 23.
Bill Etheridge, Ukip's defence spokesman, said: “There’s a narrative which Labour is trying to develop and they’re trying to discredit Paul as a person.
“One thing about Paul Nuttall, you might be able to find lots of things to attack about him, but as a man his character is absolutely superb. He’s an honest, decent, kind and generous man.
The West Midlands MEP added: “He’s made a few mistakes, but he’s not a liar. He’s a sincere, honest man.”
Scottish Ukip leader David Coburn blamed hostile media for exaggerating the claims.
Scottish UKIP leader David Coburn blamed the media for exaggerating Paul's claims
He’s made a few mistakes, but he’s not a liar. He’s a sincere, honest man.
Bill Etheridge, Ukip's defence spokesman
Mr Coburn said: "Come polling day, voters will make a decision based on what is best for themselves and their families as opposed to a post on a website several years ago.
The Scottish MEP added: “I don’t think people are going to make a judgement about economics, their life, everything on the basis of those comments. The press have been very busy trying to stick it to Ukip because they’re terrified.
Ukip's Brexit spokesman Gerard Batten also defended Mr Nuttall saying the claims are a non-story
“The old alliance of the Labour party and the Tories is ending. People see us as a serious threat know which is why they’re going hammer and tong for Paul.”
Gerard Batten, Ukip’s Brexit spokesman, also gave an impassioned defence of Mr Nuttall.
The London MEP said: “It’s a non-story. He’s apologised and that should be the end of it. In Stoke it isn’t a story quite frankly.”
Ukip are hoping to overturn a 5,041 vote Labour majority in Stoke-on-Trent on February 23
The incumbent Ukip leader was challenged about the claims live on air during an interview with Radio City Talk in Liverpool and apologised for the post.
He told the presenter: "I haven't lost a close personal friend, I've lost someone who I know. I haven't put that out, that is wrong."
Mr Nuttall received a standing ovation and strong show of support from the supporters at the Spring conference when talking about the Hillsborough debacle.
Nigel Farage claimed the Labour party were behind the smears on Mr Nuttall.
Ukip are hoping to overturn a 5,041 vote Labour majority in Stoke-on-Trent Central on February 23.
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