Ukip MEPs just ‘charlatans’ – party founder

Voters who backed Ukip in last week's European elections have only succeeded in sending 24 "incompetent charlatans" to Strasbourg, the party's founder has said.

Alan Sked, the LSE professor and co-founder of Ukip who was leader from 1993 to 1997, said his former party's MEPs "go native in Brussels, take the expenses and the perks and do f*** all".

His comments in an interview with the Guardian newspaper come after Nigel Farage suggested Ukip could win enough MPs in next year's general election to hold the balance of power in a hung parliament.

Sked said Farage's claim showed he was a "fantasist".

"They always do well in Euro elections because they're the obvious party of protest, but the idea that they're going to come from nothing to be holding the balance of power is ridiculous," he said.

"I don't expect them to get any seats."

Sked repeated his claim that Farage is a racist who once told him "the nig-nogs will never vote for us" – a statement the Ukip leader denies ever saying.

He said Farage was in favour of former National Front candidates standing for Ukip.

"I was shocked," Sked added.

"I had never heard people use those words. At the time, others thought he was being funny. I didn't. They showed what kind of man he is."

A string of stories in the national press about racist, homophobic and prejudiced Ukip candidates did not stop the party winning the European elections outright.

But the party faces further scandal in the wake of the polls, after a councillor elected last week was suspended four days into the job over allegations of misconduct.

Dave Small, a Ukip councillor on Redditch borough council, wrote on Facebook last year that the coalition was "pandering to Puffs" and criticised "Perverts like Elton John and Clair Balding who get their jollies in such disgusting ways".

A Ukip spokesman said: "All Ukip members and councillors are expected to uphold the values of the party.

"Where there are allegations that that has not been the case, there is an established disciplinary procedure, which is under the auspices of the national executive committee. We will certainly look at this case."