HOPE not hate


You are viewing blog items for February 2014.

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Bassetlaw MP calls for UKIP to take action over candidate’s tweet

posted by: Sam Chetwynd | on: Friday, 28 February 2014, 18:57

Bassetlaw MP John Mann has called on the UKIP leader to remove the party’s East Midlands candidate Nigel Wickens over a series of tweets - including one in which he likened the EU to Nazi Germany.

Nigel Wickens, UKIP’s number three candidate in the East Midlands for May’s European elections, tweeted: “Congratulations to Switzerland regarding the free movement of people. You defied Nazi Germany, now defy the equally disgusting EU.”

Mr Mann, who chairs the All Party Parliamentary Group on Anti Semitism, condemned the comment and said: “He has deleted the comments because his party wants him to clean up his image. However, serious questions remain for Mr Wickens and UKIP.”

“How can any decent human being compare the European Union to Nazi Germany. You don’t have to like the EU but to compare it to a regime that orchestrated the deaths of six million Jews and others is beyond belief.”

An online petition calling on Nigel Farage to ditch Mr Wickens has reached 280 signatures.

The tweet has been deleted.

Worksop Guardian

 Posted: 28 Feb 2014 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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More UKIP Hatred

posted by: Simon Cressy | on: Friday, 28 February 2014, 15:28

Don't think I need to say too much here, the images speak for themselves.

 Posted: 28 Feb 2014 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments

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UKIP councillor 'will have to step down' over arson charge

posted by: Natalie Garland | on: Friday, 28 February 2014, 14:51

A UKIP councillor has said he will have to step down from the Rushmoor Borough Council after pleading guilty to arson.

Councillor Malcolm Small, who represents the West Heath ward, admitted one count of arson when he appeared at Aldershot Magistrates' Court on Thursday February 20.

He admitted burning items of clothing belonging to Kim Van Opdorp at his home in Brewers Close on February 4.

The case has been adjourned for a pre-sentence, all options report and he will appear for sentencing on March 14 at Basingstoke Magistrates' Court.

He said: "I enjoy my job but I will have to step down if I go to court and I feel that's so wrong when I enjoy helping people."

Cllr Small was elected to the council for a three-year term in May 2012 for West Heath, where UKIP took full control, winning all three seats after fielding four candidates.

Get Hampshire

 Posted: 28 Feb 2014 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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UKIP tries to remove journalists from fringe meeting on sharia law

posted by: George Eaton | on: Friday, 28 February 2014, 14:46

UKIP has long prided itself on its commitment to "free speech" and open debate, but it seems the party isn't prepared to practice what it preaches. There was outrage among journalists at the party's Spring Conference today when officials attempted to remove them from a fringe meeting on sharia law. The Telegraph's Christopher Hope tweeted: "Ukip security has tried to remove the @Telegraph from a fringe meeting on Sharia law. I have refused to move. Outragous." Those journalists who had taken their seats were eventually told that they could stay ("if you behave") but others were reportedly turned away at the door.

It doesn't require much imagination to guess why UKIP wanted to keep journalists out of the fringe meeting. A session on sharia law could well expose views of the kind that Nigel Farage insists are not tolerated, or even not present, in his party. Indeed, the first question was "How can you be both a Muslim and an English man?"

Farage declared in his speech today: "We’ve had one or two bad people - we’ve got rid of them." But his officials' anxiousness suggests plenty of rotten apples remain.

New Statesman

 Posted: 28 Feb 2014 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Ukip rebels stage alternative rally as crisis-hit party launches Scottish Euro candidate

posted by: Paul Hutcheon | on: Wednesday, 26 February 2014, 21:26

UKIP Scotland's European election launch is in chaos, with its top candidate caught up in a double-job row and a rival faction in the divided party holding a separate rally.

David Coburn, who will be introduced as the party's Euro hopeful at the launch in Glasgow today, was recently confirmed as a Westminster candidate 350 miles away in a London borough.

The event is also likely to be hamstrung by party rebels staging an alternative bash for Ukip members in Stirling.

The anti-European Union party has recorded electoral victories in England but enjoyed little success north of the Border.

Ukip desperately wants to return an MEP from Scotland in May's election, but a civil war is tearing the party to shreds.

Six of the nine shortlisted candidates in Ukip's internal selection withdrew before ballot papers were sent following a bout of infighting.

Ukip pushed ahead with the vote and the contest was won by Coburn, who until recently was the party's London chair.

His candidacy will be the focal point of Ukip's election launch this afternoon in the Grand Central Hotel in Glasgow.

However, Coburn is facing questions over his commitment to Scotland. It can be revealed that the Glasgow-educated businessman is also Ukip's Westminster candidate for Bexleyheath & Crayford in 2015.

The branch website confirmed his nomination, adding: "David stood for Bexley and Old Sidcup at the last election and vowed to stand in Bexley again. David has been Chairman of the Bexley Branch for four years and has built it into an effective fighting force which will be taking council seats in May with an exciting line-up of enthusiastic candidates."

With only a 12-month gap between the European and Westminster elections, and a term in Brussels lasting five years, Coburn's decision leaves open the possibility of him holding two positions.

In his pitch to Ukip Scotland members for the European election, he said getting elected to Brussels would be a stepping stone to ­Westminster.

Today's launch may be sparsely attended by Ukip Scotland members, who have been invited to a separate event 25 miles away.

Until recently, Lord Monckton was party leader north of the Border, while Mike Scott-Hayward and Peter Adams were respectively chair and regional organiser. All are deemed party moderates.

However, Monckton was fired recently, and Scott-Hayward and Adams resigned shortly after.

The trio have invited Ukip members to Stirling's Albert Halls to celebrate the party's 21st birthday. The "historic rally" is scheduled to start 90 minutes before the European launch.

According to the invitation, the event is billed as "Learning from yesterday, partying today, planning for tomorrow".

It starts with a "welcome" by Monckton, followed by Scott-Hayward talking about "the past year". Ex-chair Paul Henke is also due to speak, as is former fundraiser Malcolm Macaskill.

A Ukip source said: "The campaign launch in Glasgow is going to be a farce. Most of the folk with any credibility will be in Stirling, and it also looks like Coburn's ambitions are in London, not Scotland."

The source added that "hardliners" had taken over the party. Right-winger Misty Thackeray, who said Glasgow City Council was for "gays, catholics [and] communists", is currently interim chair.

Thackeray has also described Geert Wilders, the far-right leader of the Freedom Party in the Netherlands, as "great".

Councillor Maggie Chapman, the Scottish Greens' lead candidate for the European election, said: "Voters in Scotland will be insulted by an outfit that thinks it can parachute in a London Westminster candidate for an election here. It's increasingly clear they cannot be taken seriously.

"Ukip has no representation in Scotland and no interest in Scotland and is only being taken seriously as a result of a curious fascination for them elsewhere in the UK. A Scottish Green vote in May is what stands in the way of Ukip being elected in Scotland."

The Nationalist MEP Alyn Smith said: "It's always been clear that Ukip are totally irrelevant in Scotland. That they have admitted defeat in the European Parliament elections before the campaign has even begun shows that they know it too."

Coburn said: "I'll do what is best to get us out of the European Union."

Scottish Herald

 Posted: 26 Feb 2014 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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UKIP admits it 'couldn't just walk away from Europe' as it would cost nation jobs

posted by: Tom McTague | on: Wednesday, 26 February 2014, 20:22

Janice Atkinson

Janice Atkinson

A top UKIP candidate has admitted Britain cannot just “walk away from Europe” - because it could cost jobs.

Janice Atkinson, the party’s high-profile MEP candidate for the South East, said any withdrawal from Brussels would take “years”.

The remarks proved Nigel Farage was “putting millions of British jobs at risk”, the Lib Dems said today.

Tim Farron, the Lib Dem President, said: “Pulling out of the EU would be a disaster for Britain, wrecking the recovery and putting British jobs and businesses in jeopardy.

“Only the Liberal Democrats are standing up for British jobs and standing up to UKIP.

“That’s why Nick Clegg challenged Nigel Farage to an in/out debate and it’s why the Liberal Democrats are fighting to keep Britain in Europe.”

Ms Atkinson made the comments at a UKIP rally in Brighton earlier this month after being asked exactly how Britain would leave the EU.

She said: “We won’t get into the nitty gritty of it...it will take years of negotiation to come out.

“It won’t just be a cut-off because there are jobs involved... we are discussing internally how we try to handle that at the moment - you can’t just walk away.”

A UKIP spokesman today insisted “no jobs” would be put at risk by pulling out of the EU.

He said: “This party is for withdrawing from the EU. That can be done in a variety of ways.

“Once we are in a position to take Britain out of the EU, we naturally favour doing so in a responsible manner.

“But it is worth pointing out that no jobs depend on membership of the EU other than the jobs of EU bureaucrats.”

UKIP was also facing calls to sack another one of its MEP candidates today over “incredibly offensive” remarks made on Twitter.

Bassetlaw MP John Mann said the UKIP leader should remove the party’s East Midlands candidate Nigel Wickens over a series of tweets - including one in which he likened the EU to Nazi Germany.

On February 10, Mr Wickens tweeted:

Mr Mann, who chairs the All Party Parliamentary Group on Anti Semitism said: “How can any decent human being compare the European Union to Nazi Germany.

“You don’t have to like the EU but to compare it to a regime that orchestrated the deaths of 6 million Jews and others is beyond belief.”

He added: “These comments clearly show that Nigel Wickens is not fit for public office. I suggest he visits Beth Shalom Holocaust Centre to see what the Nazi regime did and get a true sense of perspective regarding the European Union.”

“I am calling on Nigel Farage to remove him from his party immediately. The voters of the East Midlands deserve better than this.”

UKIP has refused to comment on Mr Mann’s demand.

In a further blow to the party, one of its county councillors - and his wife - admitted swindling nearly £25,000 through benefit fraud.

Cllr Peter Lagoda, 59, and his wife Maria, also 59, changed their plea to guilty at the start of their trial.

The pair had been accused of giving Fenland District Council a false address in a bid to claim extra benefits.

Mr Lagoda had claimed he lived in South Beach, Cambridgeshire, when instead he shared a property in Wisbech with his wife.

It had been alleged the councillor and his wife falsely claimed £11,565 in income support, £2,346 in council tax and £10,949 in housing benefit.

But despite originally pleading not guilty in April last year at Cambridge Magistrates’ Court the pair have now admitted all the charges against them.

Mr Lagoda was suspended from UKIP after being charged by Cambridgeshire Constabulary with the fraud.

The pair will now be sentenced on March 28 at the same court.

The Mirror

 Posted: 26 Feb 2014 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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UKIP's Councillor Peter Lagoda and wife Maria plead guilty to £25k benefit fraud

posted by: Chris Havergal | on: Monday, 24 February 2014, 18:21

A UKIP county councillor and his wife have admitted swindling nearly £25,000 through benefit fraud.

Cllr Peter Lagoda, 59, and his wife Maria, also 59, today dramatically changed their plea to guilty at the start of their trial.

The pair had been accused of giving Fenland District Council a false address in a bid to claim extra benefits.

Lagoda had claimed he lived in South Beach, Cambridgeshire, when instead he shared a property in Wisbech with his wife.

It had been alleged the councillor and his wife falsely claimed £11,565 in income support, £2,346 in council tax and £10,949 in housing benefit.

But despite originally pleading not guilty in April last year at Cambridge Magistrates’ Court the pair have now admitted all the charges against them.

Peterborough Crown Court heard how all the dishonesty had stretched for more than two years between June 2008 and November 2010.

Lagoda had been elected to represent Wisbech South on Cambridgeshire County Council in May last year.

But he was suspended from UKIP after being charged by Cambridgeshire Constabulary with the fraud.

The pair will now be sentenced on March 28 at the same court.

A council spokesman said: “Cllr Lagoda’s status as a councillor remains unchanged until the outcome of any sentencing hearing is known.

“As such it would be wrong for the authority to comment any further.”

Cambridge News

 Posted: 24 Feb 2014 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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UKIP housing spokesman trousering a fortune renting to migrants on benefits

posted by: Nick Sommerlad | on: Monday, 24 February 2014, 18:08

UKIP’S housing spokesman is making a fortune off migrant tenants on benefits – despite Nigel Farage calling for a ban on foreigners claiming welfare.

Multi-millionaire landlord Andrew Charalambous has pocketed £745,351 in housing benefit from occupants, who he admits include immigrants.

It will heap embarrassment on party leader Mr Farage and comes after Mr Charalambous described immigrants as a “massive factor in the overcrowding of social housing”.

He also demanded “priority be given to British families and those who contributed to the system”.

When Mr Charalambous was asked whether he was a hypocrite over his massive haul, he said: “Not at all. We don’t want to get into any business of questioning where people come from. That would be totally unfair.

“We operate in an area that is largely a migrant population. From a commercial point of view and a human point of view, we are not concerned about what the ethnic origin of the tenants is.”

He also said he was an “ethical” landlord but refused to confirm how many properties he owned.

Asked whether he was profiting from immigration, he said: “Immigration has not only fuelled demand but has fuelled price. I think that’s true.”

Our investigation with union GMB found his firm Woodlands Estates Limited got the £745,315 benefit cash through Haringey Council, in North London, last year – more than any other private landlord.

But the true figure is higher as it does not include benefit paid by the council to his tenants before they passed the money to Woodlands.

Last month leader Mr Farage called for new migrants to be banned from getting welfare handouts for five years after arriving in this country.

He said: “We must be completely mad, as a country, to be giving people from Eastern Europe in-work benefits.”

But buy-to-let tycoon Mr ­Charalambous, who has stood in a by-election to try to become UKIP’s first MP, said he would continue to accept migrants as tenants “as long as they are legally entitled to claim benefits”.

Wealthy Mr ­Charalambous went on: “If the law is going to change, then we work within the parameters of the law.”

He said that almost one in six of his tenants were recent migrants to the UK but insisted the rest had British passports, which they got through relatives or because they had been in the country for a number of years.

He said: “We live in a country which obviously lots of people want to move to. We shouldn’t stop people coming here for a better life. If people want to come here to contribute, we need to be open minded about that.

“But we need a way of saying ‘look this is where we draw the line’.”

But furious GMB General Secretary Paul Kenny said: “Housing hypocrite Charalambous blames foreigners for Britain’s housing crisis while he receives millions of taxpayers’ money in rent subsidies.

“Public money raised from ­hard-pressed families going to ­landlords such as Charalambous has to be stopped, with a building programme of new council housing for rent.”

Turncoat: Charalambous was formerly a Tory and cosied up to Margaret Thatcher in 2008

Turncoat: Charalambous was formerly a Tory and cosied up to Margaret Thatcher in 2008

Mr Charalambous donated £146,000 to the Tories before defecting to UKIP and was pictured cosying up to Margaret Thatcher at a swanky party at a London hotel in 2008.

He has twice tried and failed to be elected as an MP, as a Tory candidate in 2010 and for UKIP in 2011.

Nicknamed “Dr Earth”, he has opened an “ecological” nightclub, describes himself as a “tantric master” and claims to have “dated some of the most beautiful women in the world”.

He began investing in properties in 1994 and now owns hundreds in the capital, including “most” of those rented out by Woodlands.

He insisted: “It’s to our credit that we accept tenants that other landlords wouldn’t accept. They are people that ­otherwise wouldn’t get housing.”

The Sunday Mirror

 Posted: 24 Feb 2014 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Godfrey Bloom defends EU 'hanging' remarks

posted by: James Burton | on: Saturday, 22 February 2014, 18:28

Controversial East Yorkshire politician Godfrey Bloom is standing by his comments after saying it would "be right" for European commissioners to be hanged.

The MEP made the remarks in a speech to the European Parliament on why "the state is an institution of theft".

They were later uploaded to YouTube, racking up more than four million views.

Mr Bloom's comments were made as he attacked Brussels bureaucrats for "tax evasion".

In the speech last November, made while commissioners were in the audience, Mr Bloom said: "I would point out to the commission that the message is getting home to the people of the European Union.

"You are going to find that Eurosceptics are coming back in ever greater numbers.

"And I can tell you worse – as the people get your number, it will not be long before they storm this chamber and they hang you, and they will be right."

The remarks infuriated civil service trade unions, Mr Bloom said, and he has now been formally reprimanded for them by EU president Martin Schulz.

In a letter, Mr Schulz said he did not show "due respect" and had ignored "human dignity".

Mr Bloom was unrepentant, although he did clarify he did not want anyone to be hanged.

He made the comments, he said, because he feared civil servants' finances would lead to a bloody revolt by irate Frenchmen.

Mr Bloom said: "I didn't actually say I wanted to see them hanged.

"What I said is they probably would end up being hanged, and it would be their own fault.

"They're going to storm the building like they stormed the Bastille and history will take its course again."

Mr Bloom said thousands of people had written him letters to agree with what he said.

He believes he tapped into a deep reserve of frustration at high taxes. Mr Bloom said: "People feel they are very heavily taxed, especially the French.

"Everybody feels they are being crippled with high taxation.

"People are really struggling in parts of Hull, with electricity bills, which are frightening, and food bills that are huge on a tiny pension."

Mr Schulz was unimpressed with the MEP's words of warning.

Although the reprimand did not impose any actual penalty on him, it included some strong words.

The president wrote: "It is one thing for a member of parliament to forcefully disagree with commission policies.

"It is quite another to call in plenary for the commitment of a crime such as the hanging."

Mr Bloom sits as an independent MEP after quitting UKIP last year.

He left following a row with party leader Nigel Farage for joking a group of women were "sluts".

The politician was in hot water before that for referring to countries getting British aid as "bongo bongo land".

Hull Daily Mail

 Posted: 22 Feb 2014 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments

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UKIP Distances Itself From Councillor Peter Lagoda Over 'Disturbing Racist Language'

posted by: Asa Bennett | on: Tuesday, 18 February 2014, 11:51

Ukip has been forced to distance itself from local councillor Peter Lagoda over "disturbing" remarks he made during an impromptu visit to a fire station in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire.

Lagoda, who was suspended by Ukip last year after being charged with benefit fraud, admitted to the Huffington Post UK that while in "private conversation" with the firefighters about his family, he described his north African sister as a "w*g" and his relatives living in Germany as "Mongols" who had children with "slanty eyes".

"Yes, my cousin married Mongols and now all their little children are ever so cute and they have slanty eyes," Lagoda said in a telephone interview with HuffPost UK.

Despite being forced by the local Ukip group to write a letter of apology to the firefighters after his visit last month, Lagoda insisted that the furore was "ridiculous, over-the-top" and that the letter "shouldn't have gone out".

The Wisbech councillor, who is still listed as representing Ukip on the council website and remains a Ukip member, defended his remarks as the correct dictionary definitions and accused the firefighters of misunderstanding him.

"They've taken it the wrong way and my English must be far greater than theirs because I looked in the dictionary and a person from Mongolia is called a Mongol. It’s always the British that bastardize words."

The term "w*g", described by most dictionaries as derogatory and offensive, usually refers to a dark-skinned or olive-skinned person from Africa and Asia, and is believed to be derived from the "golliwog" blackface minstrel doll.

Lagoda's remarks about his "w*g" sister and "Mongol" relatives having children with "slanty eyes" have been condemned by local politicians.

Councillor Martin Curtis, Tory leader of Cambridgeshire County Council told HuffPostUK: "Of course this sort of language from county councillors horrifies me, what concerns me even more is how it fits into an increasingly disturbing picture about how poorly Wisbech is represented.

"As far as the County Council is concerned it is becoming clear that Wisbech is representational vacuum. The councillors are clearly more interested in causing controversy than they are in standing up and representing a very important market town."

Tory Stephen Barclay, MP for North East Cambridgeshire, warned: "If racist language was used by a county councillor then it is deeply disturbing."

A Ukip spokesperson made clear that the party takes the incident "very seriously indeed" but made clear: "Councillor Lagoda was suspended from the party before this incident occurred. He is not an acting councillor for Ukip now and he was not an acting councillor for UKIP at the time of this incident."

Cllr Lagoda's remarks during his visit to the fire station in January alongside current Ukip councillor Paul Clapp caused one of the firefighters to lodge an official complaint about being left feeling "uncomfortable".

"I...should have challenged that language but thought it may be a generation thing and hopefully he wouldn't repeat this type of language and I did not want to get into any arguments," the firefighter wrote.

Lagoda, a former Conservative councillor, told the firefighters during his visit that he would help fight cuts aimed at the local fire station and thanked them for attending in a guard of honour for his father, who was an ex-firefighter.

This is not the first controversy Ukip has had to deal with about a politician's remarks, after former MEP Godfrey Bloom caused outrage last year when he was recorded warning that foreign aid should not go to "bongo bongo land".

The Huffington Post

 Posted: 18 Feb 2014 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Suffolk: UKIP councillors facing double-vote investigation

posted by: Paul Geater | on: Saturday, 15 February 2014, 16:50

Two UKIP Suffolk county councillors are set to be investigated after a voting irregularity in the authority’s vital budget debate on Thursday.

Brandon councillor Reg Silvester was at his first full council meeting for several months after suffering a serious illness – but had to leave early before the final vote was taken.

His party colleague Bert Poole, from Oulton, near Lowestoft, used his voting card to register his support for the Conservative administration’s budget.

The move was spotted by Liberal Democrat group leader David Wood.

Mr Poole admitted the double vote and the vote was retaken. The budget was passed by 45 votes to 20 with one abstention.

Now there is set to be a full inquiry which could result in sanctions being taken against Mr Poole and Mr Silvester.

In 2009, former Labour council leader Jane Hore was disqualified from sitting as a councillor for a year after she was found to have used a colleague’s voting card after he had left a meeting. She had already left the council.

Council leader Mark Bee and Labour group deputy leader Bryony Rudkin have lodged formal complaints about the voting with the monitoring officer. The case is now set to be investigated by the monitoring officer from another authority.

Mr Wood said he drew the attention of the chairman to what had happened to ensure the vote could be retaken.

He said: “I didn’t name the councillor involved. I hoped he would admit what he had done, which he did. We had to have another vote because the first one would have been null and void and technically the council could have ended up without a budget.”

Mrs Rudkin said she had lodged the complaint because she felt it was important that it was fully investigated.

Both Mr Poole and Mr Silvester were first elected to the authority in May last year, and some councillors feel the incident simply showed a level of naivety.

Mr Silvester said the UKIP group as a whole supported the budget, and he felt the administration had done a good job.

He had voted to oppose a Labour amendment that would have reduced the level of the council’s reserve, but had to leave before the second vote was taken.

He said: “I don’t know about this problem. They (the monitoring officers) will have to do what they have to do.”

UKIP group leader Bill Mountford said Mr Poole had been advised by the monitoring officer not to say anything about the incident until the investigation had been concluded.

He said: “I tried to stop him voting a second time, so did the chap sitting next to him. It was a serious error of judgment on Bert’s part – we had all discussed the budget before the meeting and were all in agreement on how to vote.”


 Posted: 15 Feb 2014 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Ealing councillor causes storm on Twitter over 'offensive' comments about flooding victims

posted by: Danya Bazaraa | on: Saturday, 15 February 2014, 02:05

An Ealing councillor has caused offense by making controversial comments targeted at flood victims.

Benjamin Dennehy, the Hanger Hill ward councillor, Tweeted yesterday (February 13): “Sick of listening to ppl living in houses, not on stilts, in flood plains moaning about flooding. Its like an Eskimo moaning about the cold. Everyone wants to blame Govt, climate change etc. What about those that buy in high risk areas assuming their responsibility?”

A storm broke out on Twitter shortly after remarks such as the above were made.

Joe Carlisle @JoeCarlisle80 Tweeted: “This is what your councillor thinks about people suffering in the floods.”

Stephen Carter @Ste_Carter91 Tweeted: “Flooding is a bad thing but in a way he’s right; just shouldn’t put it in such a insulting way.”

Cllr Dennehy was elected as a Conservative in 2010 and expelled by the Tories two years ago for controversial comments he made about Southall. He joined UKIP and now says he has allowed his membership to expire and is not a member of any other political party.

Suzanne Fernandes, a youth mentor from Ealing, said: “He [Cllr Dennehy] is a liability for Ealing. He has used his platform to vent his libellous comments. I find him the most offensive person I have ever come across- a councillor with no regard for the community. He is so provocative. He says ‘it’s my freedom of speech’ as if that’s a licence to do what he likes.”

Mr Dennehy said the views he expressed are a personal opinion. He said: “I must be honest, even by my standards, the tweet did come across rather blunt. For that I am sorry. I have utter sympathy for those whose homes are ruined. However, when emotions have subsided, hard questions and truths need to be asked and said.

“I believe the Government should do/spend what it takes to get through this disaster. But if all we do is blame Government or climate change for flooding we will never achieve anything. Caveat Emptor. If you buy a house in a flood plain and it has not been designed and built to factor in that possibility, the buyer has to accept they chose to run that risk.”

When asked why he made this decision he said: “So I could speak freely in my last few months as a councillor without causing a party distress. People only ever report the controversial things, never what really matters.”

Get West London

 Posted: 15 Feb 2014 | There are 3 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Row over 'misleading' UKIP by-election leaflet

posted by: Jennifer Williams | on: Wednesday, 12 February 2014, 19:16

Bernard Caine with Irene and Rachel Lawrance

Bernard Caine with Irene and Rachel Lawrance

A by-election row has broken out in Wythenshawe and Sale East after three residents were pictured on a UKIP pamphlet without their permission.

Bernard Caine, Irene Lawrance and her daughter Rachel met the party’s candidate, John Bickley, at a tenants’ group discussion two weeks ago.

But they were ‘gobsmacked’ to see their faces in a booklet a few days later, with captions saying they supporting the anti-EU party.

None of the trio gave their permission to be pictured in campaign literature - and none of them plans to vote UKIP.

Lisa Duffy, UKIP’s by-election campaign director, insisted the party’s photographer had explained what the picture was for, adding: “He is really sorry for any misunderstanding but he was very clear the photographs were for political use.

“It’s a photograph in election material showing John listening to the concerns of residents.

“It doesn’t say they are endorsing our campaign.”

Mr Caine, 72, who sits on a string of local community groups, said: “I was invited as chair of the tenants’ committee at Wythenshawe Community Housing Group to attend a gathering to meet the UKIP rep, which I did, and during the course of that they did take a photograph.

“But they didn’t tell me what they were going to use it for. This is now on a leaflet without my permission. I’m appalled at this kind of tactic.”

Mr Caine, who says he has no party political affiliation but on this occasion has picked Labour candidate Mike Kane via postal vote, added: “It is diabolical.”

UKIP have been fighting hard ahead of tomorrow’s poll in the hope of swiping second place, a result that would bode well for them in future elections.

But Irene, 67, said she only went to the meeting because her housing association asked her to go.

“Quite frankly I’m gobsmacked,” she said. “I don’t support UKIP. I don’t want to be associated with them in any way.”

Mr Caine has now reported UKIP to the Electoral Commission and the police, but has been told no action will be taken because they are not actually named.

Manchester Evening News

 Posted: 12 Feb 2014 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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UKIP green energy critic cashes in on solar panels

posted by: , | on: Wednesday, 12 February 2014, 18:12

UKIP’s leading critic of green energy was accused of hypocrisy last night after it emerged he was making more than £1,000 a year by having solar panels fitted to his property.

Roger Helmer, who defected to UKIP from the Tories in 2012, said that a government scheme that allowed householders to profit from fitting solar panels was “sheer lunacy”. However, he said his decision to fit the panels was “a straightforward financial proposition”.

“If people offer me free money, I take it,” he said. “That doesn’t mean people ought to offer me free money.” Mr Helmer, UKIP’s official energy spokesman, spent £18,000 having the panels fitted to an outbuilding at his Leicestershire home in 2010.

He signed a 25-year contract under Labour’s feed-in tariffs scheme. It will see him make a return of about 6 per cent a year on his investment by selling the energy produced by the panels to his electricity company at a fixed rate.

He said he remained a fierce opponent of renewables that require subsidies to be viable.

“You might say that the Government handing out free money is a bad thing, but you still say that, if someone is handing me free money, I’ll take the free money,” he said. “If I had gone to an annuity company, they would have given me — if I was lucky — a net 3 per cent return after tax. By putting up solar panels, I’m getting around 6 or 7 per cent return and I’m getting it tax free. I get it inflation adjusted for 25 years. I reckon I’m getting a bit over £1,000 a year.”

In 2010, Mr Helmer wrote a blog about the “moral dilemma” posed by the high returns being offered from fitting solar panels.

“Do we take the outrageous tariff that the Government is offering? Or do we seek to protect our neighbours by refusing it? I suspect we fall back on the arms dealer’s defence, ‘If I don’t do it, someone else will’,” he wrote. “As public policy, it is sheer lunacy ... But as an economic proposition to the householder, it is close to irresistible.”

Tom Greatrex, the Shadow Energy Minister, expressed surprise at Mr Helmer’s income from solar panels. “Roger Helmer seeks to make a name for himself as an anti-renewables campaigner, but away from the headlines is quietly reaping the benefits of micro-generation at home,” he said.

“I am sure his next public statement will be to thank the last Labour Government for introducing feed-in tariffs to help decentralise power generation and he will join us in pressing for more community energy co-operatives. Anything else would just be rank hypocrisy.”

Joss Garman, Greenpeace UK’s deputy political director, said: “Roger is most famous for defecting from the Conservatives to UKIP, and while we don’t necessarily think a further defection to Greenpeace is on the cards just yet, his support for clean energy is welcome.”

The Times

 Posted: 12 Feb 2014 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Disgraced former county leader joins Ukip

posted by: Mark Smulian | on: Wednesday, 12 February 2014, 18:05

Cllr David Parsons, Cllr Elizabeth Parsons, Nigel Farage MEP, Roger Helmer MEP. Former Tory county council leader David Parsons has joined UKIP

Cllr David Parsons, Cllr Elizabeth Parsons, Nigel Farage MEP, Roger Helmer MEP. Former Tory county council leader David Parsons has joined UKIP

Former Leicestershire CC leader David Parsons, who quit after a travel expenses scandal, has joined the UK Independence Party.

In a Ukip statement, party leader Nigel Farage said: “I’m delighted to welcome both David and [his wife] Elizabeth to Ukip, with their long history of serving their constituency.

“This just goes to show how Ukip is appealing to people who know the ropes of politics and yet recognise that the status quo in Westminster is drying up, with voters who had given up on the political establishment now turning to Ukip.”

Cllr Parsons said: “At a time when so many of us are struggling to make ends meet, we are left to the whims and fancies of a Tory/Liberal coalition, both locally and nationally, I believe that Ukip is now the only political party who truly represent the hopes and aspirations of the people in our county.

“I have always been a champion of local government, and in Ukip, we have a party which believes in real democracy at a local level.”

Cllr Parsons, who still sits on Blaby DC, was given a “strong censure” in June 2012 after Leicestershire’s standards committee found he had acted “in a manner which calls into question your integrity” and “displayed a cavalier attitude to the audit process and corporate governance”.

The committee received a report which found that Cllr Parsons had: brought his office into disrepute; used his position to improperly secure for himself an advantage; failed to act in accordance with the authority’s reasonable requirements when using council resources; failed to register a change to his personal interests within 28 days of their changing.

Cllr Parsons offered an unreserved apology and described himself as “deeply embarrassed and ashamed at the way matters have evolved”.

The allegations related to Cllr Parsons’ expenses claims for travelling to Europe as part of the UK delegation to the EU’s Committee of the Regions and to his use of a chauffeur driven car provided by the county.

Having survived an opposition no confidence motion in spring 2012, Cllr Parsons later quit as leader and that autumn resigned the Conservative whip days ahead of a meeting which was expected to expel him, and stood down from the council last May.

In June 2013 a council report said Cllr Parsons had agreed to repay most of the money though some remained disputed.

Police last month decided to take no action over these matters.

Ukip failed to respond to LGC’s enquires about the extent of its knowledge of events in Leicestershire.


 Posted: 12 Feb 2014 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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'Welfare is the cancer of the nation' former UKIP MEP Godfrey Bloom tells Cambridge studen

posted by: News Reporter | on: Wednesday, 12 February 2014, 16:45

Former UKIP MEP Godfrey Bloom has described welfare as ‘the cancer of the nation’ in his latest outburst.

The independent MEP also told Cambridge students: “People who create the most wealth should have a higher say in how this wealth is distributed.”

Bloom, who had been invited to address Cambridge University Conservative Association, showed his ignorance when he repeatedly said the minimum wage was £8 - it is £6.31.

He also took a swipe at his Yorkshire and Humberside constituents, telling the students “the Yorkshire farmer is the most miserable b*****d I’ve ever met in my life.”

Bloom was stripped of the UKIP party whip last September when he called a group of women at their annual conference ‘sluts’.

He has remained a member of the party but told the students: “We’re not the carefree party we once were.

“We now have people in their nice suits sitting at desks behind closed doors, spinning everything.

“I’m fighting to get my party back.”

Asked if he planned a political comeback, Bloom said: “I don’t give a sh*t anymore.

“I can say what I want now. I’m 64. I’ll be dead in ten years anyway.

“What I want to do is make sure that you people give your politicians a really rough ride.”

He added: “Who gives a sh*t if Dave Wiliband or Ed Spameron gets in next?”

Cambridge News

 Posted: 12 Feb 2014 | There are 2 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Porn Scandal Councillor To Be UKIP Parliamentary Candidate

posted by: Simon Cressy | on: Monday, 10 February 2014, 10:49

David Sprason

David Sprason

A controversial former deputy leader of Leicestershire County Council has been selected as a parliamentary candidate to fight the Bosworth seat for UKIP.

David Sprason was sacked from the Conservative Party in January last year after it was revealed that he had been using his council laptop to view pornographic films.

A letter sent to Mr Sprason on the subject by a council monitoring officer was leaked to a local newspaper.

He was caught when he handed the laptop into IT workers for repair, having forgotten to remove a DVD entitled "She Likes It Rough" from the disc drive.

Following his sacking he then joined UKIP and was re-elected as a county councillor in May, leading UKIP's group on Leicestershire County Council.

Sprason was welcomed with open arms following his defection to UKIP by party leader Nigel Farage, and by East Midlands MEP Roger Helmer.

 Posted: 10 Feb 2014 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Ukip chairman advocated 'termination' of Down's syndrome foetuses

posted by: Felicity Morse | on: Wednesday, 5 February 2014, 18:54

An outgoing Ukip chairman who in personal correspondence advocated the termination of foetuses with Down’s syndrome and also that the UK should break from the EU “by force of arms if necessary” has resigned from the party after being thanked for his contribution, which a branch spokesperson said: “allowed Ukip to grow and prosper in this region.”

John Upex, the former chairman of Ukip’s Harrogate & Knaresborough Association and parliamentary candidate, made the comments in letters to Conservative MP Mr Andrew Jones.

His resignation came after Mr Jones responded to a four page advert that Mr Upex had taken out in a local paper, copying in the executive chairman of the Ukip branch and quoting some of Mr Upex's views.

Mr Jones’ letter included a number of controversial views he insisted the Ukip parliamentary candidate had held in letters to Mr Jones over the years. As The Independent’s Andy McSmith notes in his diary, this included a statement: “if there is to be a blood-letting in this country, there are a lot of people who would be candidates for my supply of piano wire.” The comments referred to a possible civil war over the EU. Piano wire has been used as a silent garotte to kill people since World War II.

However Mr Upex told The Independent his remarks had been taken out wildly of context, adding “this is a complete travesty.”

He said: “Mr Jones accuses me of Eugenics. This is a complete travesty. My view is that abortion is a necessary but not very pleasant evil. With current medical science where do you draw the line? My personal view is that up to nine weeks is OK but later than that, I couldn’t do it. In cases like Downs Syndrome or Spina Bifida, I know children in that state and it is horrible for everyone. In cases like that termination might be the best thing.”

Additionally he wished to clarify remarks about the UK breaking from the EU by force, saying “Before Ukip we had three parties that had no difference. We are in exactly the same situation as the Eastern Bloc countries before the Berlin Wall came down. You could either choose as communist or a communist. If that’s the case you can’t deny the population the right to rise. As a country, we have endorsed, intervened, aided and armed people in the same situation.”

Ukip’s Harrogate & Knaresborough Association released the following statement, saying “We have accepted the resignation of its chairman, John Upex, following a difference of opinion of views and policies.In addition, Mr Upex will stand down as the Party’s Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for the 2015 general election.A branch spokesman said: “We would like to thank John for his contribution over the last few years which has allowed UKIP to grow and prosper in this region.”

However Mr Upex admitted that Mr Jones letter and his own resignation “were not unconnected” adding that Ukip’s rise in popularity meant the game had changed and that it was now more of a corporate entity, “playing in the midfield.”

His comments are supported by Nigel Farage’s own remarks. He told the The Times earlier in January that he wanted to continue to “professionalise” the party ahead of polling and suggested that some candidates must curb their eccentric views.

His comments came after Oxfordshire councillor David Silvester claimed that the recent floods had been God’s punishment for new gay marriage laws. However since then, Ukip has been deluged with further embarrassment.

Ukip MEP Gerard Batten has been urged to clarify his remarks after he called for British Muslims to sign a special code of conduct that would reject violence and “re-examine and address the meaning and application” of the Qur’an.

The revelations about Batten came the same day that Ukip leaders distanced the party from Mujeeb ur Rehman Bhutto, its former Commonwealth spokesman, who was revealed by BBC Newsnight to have once been part of a kidnapping gang.

On Wednesday Ukip banned their former Scottish chairman Paul Henke for 100 years for bringing the party into ‘disrepute’ and ‘deliberately sabotaging’ their election campaign in Scotland. He had spoken to a Scottish Sunday newspaper to raise concerns about another party member.

The Independent

 Posted: 5 Feb 2014 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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UKIP leader Nigel Farage rejects Muslim charter

posted by: Andrew Woodcock | on: Wednesday, 5 February 2014, 17:26

Ukip leader Nigel Farage has disowned "insulting" proposals from one of his MEPs for Muslims to be asked to sign a peace charter.

In a statement, Mr Farage said: “This was a private publication from Gerard Batten in 2006 and its contents are not and never have been Ukip policy. No such policy proposals would have been accepted by Ukip in any case. Ukip believes in treating people equally.”

His reaction comes after, Gerard Batten, who sits on the party's National Executive Committee, told The Guardian that he stood by the “charter of Muslim understanding” which he co-authored in 2006. It calls on Muslims to reject parts of the Koran which he claims promote “violent physical jihad”.

His comments, which come shortly after Mr Farage vowed to root out “Walter Mitty types” from his party, sparked criticism from Muslim groups and Ukip's political opponents.

The Conservative leader in the European Parliament, Syed Kamall, left a letter on Mr Batten's empty seat at the Parliament chamber in Strasbourg, offering him a guarantee that he had no intention to commit acts of violence or promote extremism.

"Do you have a form I can sign already?" asked Mr Kamall.

"I am anxious to assure you that I have no intention of mounting any attacks on unsuspecting infidels, nor of attempting to radicalise you or anyone else.

"If the forms aren't ready yet, perhaps you would take this note as my guarantee? My wife and family would be most reassured to know you will allow me to stay in Britain, especially since I was born here. Please feel free to drop into my office to discuss this over a cup of tea. I promise you will be entirely safe."

Mohammed Shafiq, the Chief Executive of Muslim thinktank the Ramadhan Foundation, said that suggesting that one particular community should be required to sign a ”loyalty pledge“ against violence was ”offensive and an insult to all decent people“.

Liberal Democrat MEP Baroness Ludford, who speaks for the party on justice and human rights, said: "Gerard Batten's comments rip apart Ukip's pretence to be Eurosceptic but not racist.

“His offensive blanket stereotyping of Muslims as jihadists speaks volumes about Ukip's extremism and should warn voters that voting Ukip means associating with hatred and Islamophobia.”

The news comes after a former Ukip party chairman was stripped of his membership for 100 years for criticising a fellow member in a Scottish newspaper.


 Posted: 5 Feb 2014 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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UKIP MEP Gerard Batten warns of 'explosion of mosques' across Europe

posted by: Leah Green | on: Tuesday, 4 February 2014, 19:22

Footage of Gerard Batten, London MEP for UKIP and their spokesman on immigration, shows him condemning an 'explosion of mosques' across Europe.

The Guardian has seen a report commissioned by Batten in which he calls on UK Muslims to sign a code of conduct and agree that parts of the Qu'ran should be 'deferred or suspended'.

Batten is seeking re-election as an MEP in the European elections for Ukip, whose leadership is seeking to purge the party of extremism.

The Guardian

 Posted: 4 Feb 2014 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments

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UKIP Activist Claims Kidnap Boss Was "Borderline Heroic"

posted by: Simon Cressy | on: Tuesday, 4 February 2014, 15:55

Steve Wells With Yorkshire EU Candidate Amjad Bashir

Steve Wells With Yorkshire EU Candidate Amjad Bashir

If you had been following the news today you may have seen the sensational story we posted earlier regarding UKIP's Commonwealth Spokesman Mujeeb Bhutto.

Bhutto was exposed on the BBC Newsnight programme as the former leader of a gang in Pakistan that was behind a high-profile kidnapping in Karachi in 2004 who then took a £56,000 ransom payment in Manchester.

Bhutto, who regularly appeared as UKIP's Commonwealth spokesman, and as a party representative was jailed in 2005 for seven years.

He organised a trip to a Leeds mosque for party leader Nigel Farage and canvassed with UKIP candidate Jane Collins during the 2012 Rotherham by-election.He was also thought to have been a key organiser behind the recent UKIP regional conference that took place in Bradford in September 2013.

During the ransom negotiations, Bhutto admitted he was "the boss" of the kidnappers and threatened to have the victim's head cut off and sent to his father.

Bhutto also boasted that his gang had been involved in many kidnappings and claimed even Pakistan leader President Musharraf could not ensure the victim's safety.

Following his arrest Bhutto named six other members of the gang who have since been tried in Pakistan for kidnapping and sentenced to death.

At Manchester Crown Court, Judge Martin Steiger told Bhutto, who admitted conspiracy to blackmail: "This was an exceptionally grave and carefully planned offence.

"Guns were employed by the kidnappers, the victim was threatened with execution and you came to the UK to avoid the risk of detection in Pakistan where kidnapping is a capital offence."

The conspiracy began when Ahmed Naeem, the son of a wealthy businessman was snatched by three armed men outside the gates of the family home in Karachi.

Five days later, Bhutto flew to England and made a series of phone calls to the victim's father demanding a ransom of £500,000 for his son's release.

Bhutto told the distressed father that he had two months to raise the cash or his son would be killed, telling him "I have the power to give you such torture that you wont forget it for the rest of your life."

Eventually a ransom of £56,000 was paid and the cash was to be handed over by an intermediary at Manchester's Arndale Centre car park.

The meeting was arranged and the ransom money handed over. But the intermediary noted the car number and the vehicle was traced back to a house in Leeds by the police.

Bhutto initially claimed his role was just to collect the money, but he eventually admitted conspiracy to blackmail.

So knowing all these facts I was amazed to read one of his Yorkshire UKIP colleagues, Steve Wells attempt to defend the actions of Bhutto labelling them as "borderline heroic".

Wells, a UKIP activist from the Bradford area described the kidnapper as " A perfectly pleasant and genuine guy" and claimed his only involvement was that of negotiator.

Writing on an online political discussion group Wells continued "We don't know the full facts. So it could well be he only discovered the kidnap after the event and then, rather than keeping out of it, bravely stepped in to resolve the situation without loss of the victim's life (and preventing his stupid, criminal relatives becoming murderers - for all the good it did them). Illegal, yes - but borderline heroic."

He ended the discussion by claiming that " Perhaps Mujeeb would've preferred the victim hadn't been kidnapped either. But, finding afterward he had, did his best to get the guy released alive - and succeeded."

Bhutto With Nigel Farage and Jane Collins

Bhutto With Nigel Farage and Jane Collins

 Posted: 4 Feb 2014 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Henley-on-Thames councillor David Silvester expelled from UKIP

posted by: . | on: Tuesday, 4 February 2014, 14:19

Councillor David Silvester was suspended from UKIP on 19 January

Councillor David Silvester was suspended from UKIP on 19 January

A UKIP councillor who blamed recent storms and flooding on the legalisation of gay marriage has been expelled from the party.

Town councillor David Silvester, from Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, was suspended by the party on 19 January.

Mr Silvester made his comments in a letter to his local newspaper, the Henley Standard.

Henley-on-Thames Town Council will hold a meeting later to discuss the fallout around his comments.


 Posted: 4 Feb 2014 | There are 2 comments | make a comment/view comments

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Former UKIP spokesman was kidnapping gang 'boss'

posted by: Mike Deri Smith & Jim Reed | on: Monday, 3 February 2014, 22:58

A man who served as UKIP's Commonwealth spokesman for a year is the former leader of a kidnapping gang in Pakistan, BBC Newsnight can reveal.

Mujeeb ur Rehman Bhutto's gang were behind a high-profile kidnapping in Karachi in 2004 and he then took a £56,000 ransom payment in Manchester.

In 2005, Bhutto, of Leeds, admitted being the gang's "boss" and was jailed for seven years by a UK court.

UKIP said Bhutto, 35, had "recently" resigned his party membership.

A party spokesman said: "When we recently became aware of possible issues relating to his past and raised the matter with him, he resigned his membership."

Bhutto regularly appeared as UKIP's Commonwealth spokesman, and as a party representative, in local and national media.

He organised a trip to a Leeds mosque for party leader Nigel Farage and canvassed with UKIP candidate Jane Collins during the 2012 Rotherham by-election.

'Beheading threat'

Bhutto, who said he had left the party in December, told Newsnight he had admitted the charges against him in 2005 rather than risk being sent back to Pakistan and hanged.

"The evidence which was bought against me was from Pakistan. The allegation was simply because of political rivalry," he said.

He said he planned to appeal against his conviction for conspiracy to blackmail.

Bhutto said he had been granted political asylum in the UK in 2008 and that the case against him in Pakistan had been thrown out by the country's Supreme Court.

But senior Pakistani police sources insisted that Bhutto was still wanted in Pakistan.

In June 2004, a gang led by Bhutto kidnapped Ahmed Naeem, the son of a wealthy businessman, at gunpoint from a car on a Karachi residential street.

Five days later Bhutto flew to England.

He then negotiated a ransom payment with Mr Naeem's father, Mohammed Naeem.

"I have the power to give you such torture that you won't forget it for the rest of your life," Bhutto said in calls to Mohammed Naeem that were recorded by Pakistani police and reported during his 2005 court case.

Bhutto at one point threatened to have Ahmed Naeem's head cut off and sent to his father, according to court evidence.

Police in Karachi assisted the victim's family, and a police source delivered a £56,000 ransom to a car park at Manchester's Arndale shopping centre. Ahmed Naeem then was released by the gang in Pakistan.

Bhutto was swiftly arrested by Greater Manchester Police in co-operation with Pakistan police.

Ransom in bed

The £56,000 ransom was found hidden in Bhutto's bed in a house in Leeds, and he was forced to repay it when he appeared in court.

He was sentenced under the name Majeebur Bhutto.

"You came to the UK to avoid the risk of detection in Pakistan, where kidnapping is a capital offence," said the judge, Martin Steiger.

The other gang members were initially sentenced to death in Pakistan for the offence of kidnapping for ransom, but their sentences were commuted to life in prison in 2007 and one was released.

"Kidnappings have really gone through the roof in Pakistan. It's the main form of getting money for many terrorist organisations," said Shahed Sadullah, former editor of The News, part of the bilingual paper The Daily Jang.

"There were two things that were different about this case. One was that there was an involvement with a city which was 5,000 miles away in the UK. The second was that the guys who did it actually got caught."

In a regional UKIP newsletter from May 2013, Bhutto stated that he had been a member of the party since 2011.

"Our policy in UKIP is not to attack foreign nations, but to work with like-minded parties and support them so there is no export of terrorism to our shores," he said.

During an appearance on BBC debating show The Big Questions in March 2013, when he was frequently referred to as "UKIP's Commonwealth spokesman", Bhutto said: "We want controlled immigration where we know who's coming in, who's going out."

Hailed on Twitter

UKIP candidates, associations and official social media channels have previously posted messages indicating that Bhutto had a role as a UKIP representative, beyond being just a party member.

"UKIP have plenty of quality spokesman… Mujeeb Bhutto," UKIP Bradford and district chairman Jason Smith wrote on Twitter in May 2013.

"Watch UKIP's Mujeeb Bhutto speak out against mass uncontrolled immigration on the BBC's Big Question," read a tweet from UKIP's official Twitter feed in March 2013.

Jane Collins, said on Twitter in March 2013 that Mr Bhutto was "fantastic on BBC Big Question this am. What an asset for UKIP".

In the course of the last month, Twitter, LinkedIn and multiple Facebook profiles of Mujeeb Bhutto have been deleted from the internet.

"If you don't have any discipline and tight screening of candidates, you are perpetually going to be in trouble," said Matthew Goodwin, of policy institute Chatham House and co-author of Revolt on the Right: Explaining Support for the Radical Right in Britain.

"UKIP are certainly trying to professionalise, to move away from its more amateurish origins."

Bhutto said he had now rejoined the Conservative Party, but the Tories said they had no record of that.


 Posted: 3 Feb 2014 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments

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'Fatwa' bans former Ukip chairman from party for 100 years

posted by: Paul Hutcheon and Tom Gordon | on: Sunday, 2 February 2014, 23:52

David Coburn topped Ukip's European list for Scotland in controversial circumstances, plunging the party into turmoil

David Coburn topped Ukip's European list for Scotland in controversial circumstances, plunging the party into turmoil

UKIP Scotland's former chairman has been suspended from the party for 100 years as a "fatwa" for speaking to the Sunday Herald.

Paul Henke, who had confirmed making a complaint about a colleague to this newspaper, has been barred from the party until his 163rd birthday.

Ukip, the anti-European Union anti-immigration party led by Nigel Farage, has enjoyed electoral success in England and Wales but is in the throes of a civil war north of the Border.

Until late last year, Lord ­Monckton was Ukip Scotland's leader and Mike Scott-Hayward its chairman. However, the party was plunged into chaos after a trio of members - including former ­by-election candidate Otto Inglis - were suspected of planning a take­over. The infighting came to a head during Ukip Scotland's internal selection for the European Parliament contest, during which six of the nine shortlisted candidates quit before ballot papers were sent.

David Coburn, who was chairman of Ukip in London, won the contest.

Farage fired Monckton by email and Scott-Hayward quit in a gesture of solidarity with the sacked leader.

The tensions escalated after 10 members signed a complaint against Coburn, in which they alleged he had made various false statements. One of the signatories, 63-year-old Henke, told this newspaper: "I expect the complaint to be investigated properly. I believe Ukip to be an up-front party run by honourable people. We should have honourable people as candidates."

Days later, national Ukip ­chairman Steve Crowther emailed Henke: "This is to you inform you that I am today suspending your membership of the party for a period of 100 years ... As a signatory of the complaint against our Scottish candidate which has been passed to the Sunday Herald, and having given your opinion on that subject to the Sunday Herald last week, you have brought the party into disrepute, and appear to be engaged in deliberately sabotaging our election campaign in Scotland."

One party source said: "Suspending him for 100 years is like a political fatwa."

The heavy sanction has prompted Monckton and seven other senior members to write to Crowther demanding the withdrawal of the suspension. They also wrote: "We regret that we must also ask for your immediate resignation as party chairman, on grounds of long-standing prejudice which now oversteps the bounds into malice - a malice that has needlessly brought Ukip into disrepute."

They also contrasted Henke's comments to the Sunday Herald with the statements of interim Scottish chairman Misty Thackeray, who said Glasgow City Council was for "gays, Catholics [and] communists". They wrote: "Why have you not suspended him from membership for 100,000 years?"

Responding to Monckton, Crowther stated in an email: "Paul [Henke] initiated the complaint, and so is responsible for its appearance in the Sunday Herald. This self-indulgent nonsense must stop."

Ukip had hoped to win a seat in Scotland in May's Brussels election, but senior figures believe the chances are now slim.

Henke declined to comment.

Ukip was contacted for comment but failed to respond.

Herald Scotland

 Posted: 2 Feb 2014 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments