Paul Nuttall has admitted today that claims on his website that he lost a “close personal friend” in the Hillsborough disaster are false.
The UKIP leader issued an humiliating apology after being questioned on a Liverpool radio show.
Nuttall, who is from Merseyside, had carried on his website misleading claims about the 1989 football tragedy.
“I lost close personal friends at that match and understand as well as anyone how deep the scars of that tragedy go”, read his blog post, which now appears to have been removed.
Today Nuttall, who is standing in the Stoke-on-Trent Central by-election triggered by the resignation of Tristram Hunt, insisted he was at the FA Cup match but was forced to concede that he had not suffered a bereavement.
When the host on Radio City read out extracts from Nuttall’s website, the MEP said: “I haven’t lost a close personal friend, I have lost someone who I know.
“I haven’t lost anyone who was a close personal friend it was people who I knew…. I am sorry about that… That is wrong.”
Ninety-six football fans were crushed to death when Liverpool played Nottingham Forest at the south Yorkshire stadium.
Nuttall maintains he was at the match but has now changed his account of the impact on him.
“I just want to make it perfectly clear – I was there on that day. I’ve got witnesses, people who will stand up in court and back me 100 per cent.”