DEPUTY leader of UKIP Paul Nuttall has defended a Bolton councillor who joked that newly-appointed cabinet ministers could “take it in turns to make the tea” in Number 10.

Little Lever councillor Paul Richardson, the first UKIP candidate to be elected in Greater Manchester, was accused of sexism when he posted the remarks on his Facebook page following the Prime Minister’s cabinet reshuffle.

Joan Johnson, chairman of UKIP in Bolton, said she was offended by the comments and called for him to apologise but Mr Nuttall has said the incident has been blown out of proportion.

Speaking from Brussells, the North West MEP said: “It’s a joke. So what if people are offended? I’m not going to say Joan has overreacted. I just think people need to take a joke.

“I think these women in the Cabinet are over promoted, but then most politicians are.

“What a world would we live in if people couldn’t take a joke, even if it is politically incorrect.”

After the local election in May, when Cllr Richardson swept to victory along with Cllr Diane Parkinson in Hulton, leader of UKIP Nigel Farage congratulated the pair in comments to The Bolton News.

Mr Farage’s office was unavailable for comment in relation to Cllr Richardson’s comment, the latest in a string of gaffs nationally for the party.

It is understood a branch meeting will take place tonight to discuss Cllr Richardson’s fate within the party. Cllr Richardson has so far refused to apologise for the comments or remove them.

On Tuesday, he uploaded a picture of himself clearing up the precinct in Little Lever after vandals tore out flowers from Bolton Council planters with the quip “My penance for crackin’ jokes about wimin”.

A spokesman for Bolton Council said they had not received any formal complaints about Cllr Richardson’s post.