Hitler held up as model orator by Ukip MEP

A UKIP MEP is embroiled in a row after advising prospective party candidates to emulate Hitler’s speaking style.Bill Etheridge is said to have described the Nazi dictator as a “magnetic and forceful” performer who “achieved a great deal”.

Adolf Hitler: 'Model orator'. Picture: AP

The remarks were made as the West Midlands MEP, who is planning to stand in Dudley North in the general election after victory in the European election in May, delivered a seminar on public speaking at the Young Independence Conference in Birmingham.

Mr Etheridge is said to have told the class: “Look back to the most magnetic and forceful public speaker possibly in history.

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“When Hitler gave speeches, and many of the famous ones were at rallies, at the start he walks, back and forth, looked at people – there was a silence, he waited minutes just looking out at people, fixing them with his gaze.

“They were looking back and he would do it for a while. And then they were so desperate for him to start, when he started speaking they were hanging on his every word.” He added: “I’m not saying direct copy – pick up little moments.”

Labour MP Mike Gapes said: “I thought nothing could surprise me any more, but this just goes to show that Farage has completely failed to clean up his party.

“One of his MEPs training young candidates to speak like Hitler? Simply unbelievable.”

A Ukip spokesman said: “Bill Etheridge gave a seminar on public speaking and highlighted great speakers of the past, like Churchill, Blair, Martin Luther King and Hitler, as people whose style, not content, could be studied.”