Ukip leader Richard Braine says he is 'getting a bit fed up with all this dickbraine stuff'
Newly elected leader says jokes are 'bullying'
Gerard Batten’s successor, who was elected to lead the right-wing party last week, described jokes referring to him as “Dick Braine” as “bullying”.
“I’m getting a bit fed up with all this dickbraine stuff,” he tweeted.
George Osborne, the former Conservative chancellor, is among those who have poked fun at the Ukip leader’s name.
Responding on Twitter, Mr Braine referenced the Evening Standard editor’s decision to change his name from Gideon at the age of 13.
The Ukip leader said: “It’s time to change my name to stop the bullying. Are my prospects better if I change my christian name to Gideon or George?”
Mr Braine, the former chair of Ukip’s West London branch, has been widely ridiculed on social media since he was named as the party’s new leader on Saturday.
Liz McInnes, the Labour MP, said: “I see that Ukip, in their perpetual leadership contest that is rivalled only by the DFS sale in its longevity, have now elected a triumph of nominative determinism, a Mr Dick Braine.”
Her party colleague, David Lammy, tweeted: “I wish I could laugh at the fact that this man is literally called Dick Braine. But I can’t, because I know it will only mask the seriousness of his dangerous and vile Islamophobia. His predecessors would be proud.”
Mr Braine had earlier said he “often” confused Sadiq Khan, the London mayor, with the leader of the 7/7 terror attackers. His tweet was condemned by Labour as “unacceptable racism”.
The Ukip leader also told Sky News on Tuesday the UK should “look into” banning the distribution of the Quran.
Mr Braine's leadership bid was supported by his predecessor, Mr Batten, who steered his party to the far right and proposed Islamophobic policies before quitting last month in the wake of Ukip's EU election wipeout.