UKIP's main man in Bradford has shrugged off national newspaper reports he offered to pay for a woman's holiday in exchange for sex.

The party's Bradford chairman, Jason Smith, said he made the comments as a joke to a friend on his private Facebook page.

Mr Smith, who is divorced, said: "It was basically a total joke with a friend. I was going on holiday with a friend and another friend said, 'Can I go?' and it kind of went from there.

"We had a bit of a joke. I said, 'You can come if you sleep with me'. It was a laugh-laugh, joke-joke type thing."

Mr Smith, who is standing in Bradford South in next year's general election, said his party had been unconcerned by the headlines.

He said he suspected political opponents had been trawling his personal Facebook page looking for scandal.

He said: "If that's the best they can do, it's shocking."

Any suggestion that his comments were sexist were "ridiculous", he added.