Carl Benjamin claims survivors of sexual assault have thanked him for joking about raping MP Jess Phillips

Andy Wells
Freelance Writer
Carl Benjamin defended his comments about raping Labour MP Jess Phillips (BBC)

Ukip candidate Carl Benjamin took to the airwaves this morning to defend himself for joking about raping Labour MP Jess Phillips.

Mr Benjamin, who is standing for Ukip in the South West in the European elections, said it was “empowering” for rape victims “to not be controlled by jokes”.

And as he was read out statements from survivors, Mr Benjamin, who tweeted to Ms Phillips in 2016, "I wouldn't even rape you,” said he had been thanked by other victims.

Ms Phillips said she felt 'sick' watching Benjamin on television this morning (Getty)

He told the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme: "I'm aware of the politically correct narrative around this, but there's another narrative that I suppose we can call the non-politically correct one that I support.

"I think it's a lot more empowering to not be controlled by jokes. Survivors of sexual violence find what I've said empowering.”

Ms Phillips has said she felt "sick" after watching the interview.

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She tweeted: "I feel sick watching Carl Benjamin chuckling along to people joining in what the language he has given them about putting a bag on my head and raping me.’

She added: “When talking about raping you becomes a meme (imagine for a second how this might make you feel) surely the person who initiated and then continues to join in with that bears some responsibility?”

Derbyshire read out a statement from a 31-year-old male victim on the show, who said: “Honestly this makes my stomach churn. How does he find this acceptable?

“Comments like this may not seem a lot to a bloke like him. But to me jokes about what I went through feel like a bullet.”

Responding to the statement, Mr Benjamin said: “You've been lied to. You’re misrepresenting what's happening. The way that you report the comment is farcical.”

A 28-year-old female victim’s statement was also read out, which stated: “The lack of empathy from someone seeking public office is sickening.

Benjamin said he believes it is 'a lot more empowering to not be controlled by jokes' (PA)
Benjamin (left) is hoping win a seat as an MEP for Ukip in next week's EU elections (Getty)

“Rape is not funny. As a survivor I’m angry because it’s comments like this that would've prevented me telling anyone what happened to me and I probably wouldn't be here today without that help.”

In response, Mr Benjamin said: “You don't care about the survivors that talk to me, you only care about the survivors that bolster your narrative.

“Those survivors that are on my side of this issue you ignore completely. You pretend they don't exist.”

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