UKIP leader Paul Nuttall has been branded a “disgrace” by the Hillsborough Justice Campaign after retracting his earlier claim that he lost close friends on the day of the disaster.
Nuttall rowed back from the claim in an interview with Liverpool’s Radio City News, saying that he knew some of those who perished in the 1989 disaster but didn’t in fact lose any close friends.
Kenny Derbyshire, chairman of the Hillsborough Justice Campaign, told talkRADIO: “It’s a disgrace. He has lied about Hillsborough. We all knew somebody who died on the day.
“He should have known better, [the memory is] still raw to this day.
"It’s embarrassing for us and for him as well. It will damage UKIP support in Liverpool.”
The controversy comes just a week before Nuttall, who was elected UKIP leader late last year in succession to Nigel Farage, contests the Stoke by-election, with many believing he will win the seat vacated by former Labour MP Tristram Hunt.
Nuttall has said that the claim to have lost loved ones at Hillsborough was published on his website by a member of his staff, and he did not see the article before it went live.