There was confusion last night over whether Norwich North's British National Party (BNP) candidate has the credentials to call himself “reverend”.
The Rev Robert West is at the centre of a row over his ministerial moniker, which he claimed was genuine - even though he admitted he had no current connection to any Christian denomination.
When questioned, Mr West, who lives in Holbeach in Lincolnshire, said: “It's been dealt with once and I don't have to justify myself.”
He said he had explained himself and shown his ordination certificate on a TV show in recent months, and said he had been advised “not to go through it all again”.
He said he had been “ordained as an elder” of the Apostolic Church of Wales some years ago. He claimed the word “elder” in the New Testament came from a Greek word meaning “priest”.
Mr West, who will be bidding to win the vacant Norwich North seat once the by-election date has been announced, said: “Ordination means recognition. It's simply recognition of what you are. It recognises your gifts.”
Meanwhile, UKIP leader Nigel Farrage was in Norwich yesterday outlining how his party planned to reach out to traditional Labour voters and Tories disenchanted with David Cameron's Conservative Party.
Norwich Evening News
Denise G of Norfolk Unity writes:
"West claimed the word “elder” in the New Testament came from a Greek word meaning “priest”.
In fact "Elder" derives directly from the Old English "ealdor", meaning "elder", "parent", often in the sense "wise older one". It is the stem of words like "Alderman".