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Nuttall pulls out of election hustings

UKIP leader Paul Nuttall yesterday pulled out of an election hustings amid ongoing controversy over claims surrounding the Hillsborough tragedy.

He was a no-show at a campaign event ahead of next week’s Stoke Central by-election and instead sent his principal political adviser Patrick O’Flynn in to bat on his behalf. Organisers said they were told Mr Nuttall would not be attending about an hour before it was due to begin as he had ‘essential party meetings’.

The MEP is facing calls to resign over false claims on his website that he lost ‘close personal friends’ at Hillsborough in 1989.

The 40-year-old admitted the information was incorrect earlier this week in a radio interview and a press officer later took the blame for the post which has angered the families of fans who died in the disaster.

His official website was subsequently taken down for ‘scheduled maintenance’, a message read.