A EUROPEAN election candidate from Dorset has been arrested on suspicion of ‘religious or racial harassment’.

Liberty GB candidate Paul Weston had been reading a Winston Churchill quote describing Islam as ‘militant’ and ‘retrograde’ through a megaphone outside Winchester’s Guildhall on Saturday.

Standing on the steps of the Guildhall, he addressed passers-by with an excerpt from former Prime Minister Churchill’s book The River War, written in 1899 while he was a British army officer in the Sudan.

Police were called after complaints from members of the public, and the 50-year-old was told to disperse but failed to do so.

A spokesman for Hampshire Constabulary said: “He was further arrested on suspicion of religious or racial harassment.

“He has been bailed pending further enquiries to report back to police on May 24.”

Weston is one of three Liberty GB candidates standing to represent the South East as MEPs.

Defending his actions, Mr Weston said: “I thought there was no point in competing with UKIP in terms of talking about the European Union, so I would talk to the people of Winchester about Islam.”

But he has been heavily criticised by fellow MEP candidates.There are 118 candidates from 15 parties taking part in the election on May 22.