River deaths could be work of ‘serial killer’, says UKIP candidate
John Leathley studies at Queen’s Campus in Stockton
Barmy UKIP candidate John Leathley has made outlandish comments about recent river deaths in Durham.
“The whole thing is retarded. Its the student’s fault or a it is a serial killer,” he wrote in a Facebook message.
The shocking comments were made in a discussion about a fellow Durham student.
The PPE second year, Tom Purvis, had been tweeting John Leathley about the UKIP member’s comments on river safety.
But in a Facebook message, one member of the chat screenshotted Leathley’s comments and forwarded them to Tom.
When approached for comment Mr Leathley said: “I do not want to discuss it. Please stop messaging me.”
Tom Purvis said: “I think it is ludicrous he’s arguing student deaths are the fault of their own.
“We are all great contributors to Durham and to feel attacked in this way is disgusting, especially with the use of the word ‘retarded’.”
John Leathley divided opinion when he announced his candidacy to stand in Tony Blair’s old constituency.
When speaking previously with The Tab, he said: “99.7% of UKIP members have never said anything stupid at all.
“The UKIP members who say stupid or offensive things make up 0.3% of our party – and when they say something stupid we kick them out.”
Mr Leathley is an Education student, married with children, at Queen’s campus in Stockton.
In the last several months three Durham students died in the River Wear. leading to an independent review on river safety, tough new rules on student drinking and a so-called “war” with student favourite Klute.