In renewed embarrassment for the beleaguered party it was revealed Ukip received a further £5,000 from Marchessini four months ago – after the party’s apparent falling out with the businessman over his views on homosexuality and women’s rights.

In an interview Wednesday with Michael Crick, Marchessini created fresh trauma for the party by voicing more of his eyebrow-raising views.

He argued there is no such thing as marital rape, saying: “If you make love on Friday and make love Sunday, you can’t say Saturday is rape.”

He said women should be banned from wearing trousers (a favourite line of his) because they “discourage love-making”. Women, he said, should only be allowed to wear skirts, because “that is the only way the world is going to continue. Because if they don’t men are going to stop f***ing them.”

Additionally, apparently “there is no such thing as fidelity in homosexual relationships.”

Asked whether Ukip should be taking cash from a donor with such repellent views, leader Nigel Farage replied: “Possibly not.”

Marchessini claimed that despite UKIP publicly distancing itself from him, its treasurer Stuart Wheeler was an old friend and “from time to time he rings up and asks if I’ll help.”

Asked about the most recent payment, Farage told Channel 4: “I don’t know, you’ll have to ask the treasurer won’t you.

“I’m sure he gave the money in good faith, the money was taken in good faith.”

Despite a plethora of negative publicity and a cull of candidates in recent weeks, ComRes found Ukip’s support for the Euro elections on 22 May had leaped by eight points, while Labour fell three points to 27 per cent and the Conservatives slipped three to just 18 per cent.

The party has been under intense scrutiny in recent days over comments made by party members. Would-be councillor Andre Lampitt was suspended hours after featuring in an election broadcast for expressing “repellent” racist and anti-Islamic views on social media. Another candidate, William Henwood, who has also now resigned, sparked fury by saying comedian Lenny Henry “should emigrate to a black country”.

From The Huffington Post UK. Report by Charlotte Meredith. 01.05.14