A Brexit Party candidate held back tears as he insisted he and his movement have been victims of what he called “racism of opinion”.
Andy Stewart, who is standing against Ed Miliband for Doncaster North, said the abuse he has experienced in this election campaign is on “another level”.
His party leader Nigel Farage has concurred and said British politics has never been in a worse place than now.
Mr Stewart said he has seen racism first-hand as a mixed-race man and added that his fellow Brexit Party candidate, Surjit Singh Duhre, who is standing in Doncaster Central, has been abused and called a liar.
Mr Stewart said: “There’s a new kind of racism about.
“It’s not for colour, it’s not for creed or race, and it’s not for religion – it’s for opinion. It’s racism of opinion.
“You are then charged with being of this kind of opinion, and you’re ostracised.
“People turn around and tell you that your opinion’s not worth anything, you’re charged with being different to other people.”
Speaking to activists at the Earl of Doncaster Hotel, he told activists that he had been lectured about racism by a white middle-class man recently.
He said: “I can tell you, with a black grandad walking down a predominantly white area, I know what it’s like.
“I know what racism is like.”
But he added he had still “loved every minute” of campaigning.
Nigel Farage said the election had been “pretty appalling” because of both other parties’ policies and the level of abuse, and blamed the first-past-the-post voting system for creating “endless negativity”.
He said he plans to write a book about the campaign after the election is over which will argue for a change in the voting system.
“For people in a free society to put themselves forward for public office is a right that they deserve to exercise if they so choose,” he said.
“I think the hounding of people, saying “stand down, you shouldn’t be here”, I think that’s been appalling.
“I just can’t imagine that our politics has ever been in a worse place than it is now.”
The Brexit Party expelled a councillor and part-time official on Monday after they were filmed making racist comments by an undercover reporter on Channel 4 News.
Party chairman Richard Tice described the remarks as “appalling”.