A UKIP councillor in Hartlepool, the party’s North East stronghold, has urged that his party should “ban any Muslim from joining UKIP”.

Cllr Tom Hind, who has represented the city’s Seaton Ward since 2014, wrote on Facebook:

“I have mentioned before UKIP will have to make some difficult decisions if it is to move of those difficult decisions is Islam I would like to ban any Muslim from joining UKIP. Islam is not a religion it is a political ideology based on conquest, how many more assaults on the British people need we endure before we understand Islam.”

The comments come after Paul Nuttall chose to pivot his party, which once claimed to be “libertarian”, to a focus on Islam – with manifesto promises including a ban on face coverings (extending apparently to balaclavas as well as the veil), and compulsory genital inspections for Muslim schoolgirls.

Councillor Hind’s proposal is just the latest embarrassment for his party to come out of Hartlepool, after this site revealed that Phillip Broughton, UKIP’s parliamentary candidate, has registered a local Bed and Breakfast as his “home address”.