UKIP’s new leader Richard Braine has become embroiled in a spat with Evening Standard Editor George Osborne after the former Chancellor made fun of his name on the social network Twitter.
After the results of the leadership election were announced on 10 August, Osborne tweeted, “the new leader of UKIP is called Mr Dick Braine – really”.
In a sardonic response, Braine said he was “getting a bit fed up” with people “bullying” him over his name, and would change it, starting a comic poll on Twitter asking users whether he should change his first name to George or Gideon – a reference to how Osborne changed his name from Gideon when he was a teen.
The new leader of UKIP is called Mr Dick Braine - really— George Osborne (@George_Osborne) August 10, 2019
The poll has since been deleted.
Despite being in the post mere days, Braine has already caused controversy by suggesting that distribution of the Koran should be restricted in the UK under laws against incitement to violence. He told Sky News on 13 August there was “no question some people who commit violence are motivated by the scripture”.
On 27 June, Braine misspelled the London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s name on Twitter as “Siddique Khan” on Twitter; after being corrected by another user, he responded that he often “[confused] him with the leader of the 7/7 bombers”.