A FORMER royal butler has been charged with 18 sex offences against boys.
Paul Kidd, of Grasscroft Road, Stalybridge, has been accused of rape, indecent assault and sexual assault.
He appeared before Tameside Magistrates yesterday and was remanded in custody, but will making an application for bail tomorrow.
Kidd, 54, stood for election as a UK Independent Party candidate in Dukinfield and Stalybridge last year and received 283 votes - 9.7 per cent.
Some of the alleged offences go back three decades but others are recent.
In a statement Greater Manchester Police, who have conducted a three-month inquiry, said: "A 54-year-old man has been charged with 18 offences after allegations of child abuse were made against him.
"Paul Kidd has been charged with nine counts of rape, four counts of gross indecency, two counts of indecent assault and three of sexual assault.
"The charges relate to an historic report received by the police that a man who is now 41 had been sexually assaulted in 1981. A 17-year-old boy also alleges he was abused."
Police seized a computer allegedly containing more than 1,000 images of suspected child porn.
John Cooke, a spokesman for the Tameside branch of UKIP, said: "Last year Mr Kidd stood in Stalybridge and did very well for us. He came third and it cost the Tories a seat they were hoping to take from Labour.
"He is very well known in Stalybridge and well liked. These charges against him have come as a huge shock, the party knew nothing about it.
"He was not intending to stand for us this year as he has been ill and is due to go into hospital for an operation.
"As part of his work doing talks about his time with the Royal Family he does a lot of cruises."
Kidd appears on a website for after-dinner speakers and his fee is set at £2,000 to £4,000.
After leaving school he joined the Royal Navy as a silver service waiter looking after the captain and officers.
In 1976, he was appointed butler to the Queen at Buckingham Palace and served there for six years until he transferred to Clarence House to serve the Queen Mother as senior footman.
In 1979 he was awarded the Most Noble Order of Merit by the West German President on a state visit. He is one of only 32 people in the world to hold the award.
He met and looked after three US presidents and every King and Queen in Europe.
In 1985 he had to end his royal service due to illness - but made a complete recovery.
He has appeared on television chat shows in Britain and the US.
Kidd was arrested in London.