A Ukip (UK Independence Party) parliamentary candidate has been suspended from the party after he was filmed threatening to shoot his Conservative rival Ranil Jayawardena. Robert Blay, who is standing in North East Hampshire, told undercover reporters from the UK's Daily Mirror that he would "put a bullet between the eyes" of the Conservatives' Ranil Jayawardena.
The video shows Mr Blay saying that Mr Jayawardena "could become our first Asian MP", adding: "If he is I will personally put a bullet between his eyes". The 55-year-old went on: "If this lad turns up to be our Prime Minister I will personally put a bullet in him. That’s how strong I feel about it. “I won’t have this f***** as our Prime Minister. I absolutely loathe him.” The remarks are said to have been made outside a meeting where Nigel Farage was giving a speech to voters in the seaside town of Ramsgate, Kent.
A Ukip spokesman said: “Mr Blay has been suspended with immediate effect". A former bank accountant, Mr Blay is standing in North East Hampshire, which saw a Conservative majority of 18,500 at the last election. Questioning Mr Jayawardena's background, he said: "His family has only been here since the 70s. You are not British enough to be in our parliament. "I've got 400 years of ancestry where I live. He hasn't got that."
And he told the investigators of the safe seat: "But I've always said in my constituency you could put a monkey out there with a blue rosette on and it would win." He accused his rival's father of having come to Britain from Sri Lanka and "ponced off us ... like all the East Europeans are". "His name's Jayawardena and I'm told that name is a Tamil name.”Well the Tamils were Indians which went to Sri Lanka to take it over and they got their asses kicked. So he comes here, ponces off us and then his son's in our political system."
A Ukip spokesman said Mr Blay had been suspended as soon as the remarks came to light and offered an apology to Mr Jayawardena. The spokesman pointed to the candidate's "long career" as a Conservative as evidence such views were not confined to its ranks. "The views expressed by Mr Blay are abhorrent," the spokesman said. "As soon as they were brought to our attention he was suspended from the party.
Any comments of this sort have absolutely no place in British politics or public life, and the party would like to take this opportunity to apologize to Mr Jayawardena for any distressed caused. "Mr Blay has been immediately suspended from the party. Ukip acts immediately in circumstances such as these. "Unfortunately, as every party has found over the past few months, internal vetting systems are not perfect, which is reflected in the fact that since January of this year, 300 Labour, Liberal Democrat, and Conservative Party candidates across the country have found themselves suspended, expelled, or even jailed for foul behaviour of all kinds.
"We are also deeply concerned that Mr Blay had a long career in the Conservative Party, including being his local association chairman - which goes to prove that issues with candidates such as these are not limited to Ukip."
Mr Jayawardena said: "I was shocked to hear about these comments and that someone who holds these types of views could have been selected as an Ukip candidate.” My family believes in hard work. My father came to this country to do just that - never claiming a penny from the state. He's contributed to society as a magistrate and I've done the same as a local councillor. "I hope to contribute positively to our country by representing my community - the community in which I grew up - in parliament.
The only way to stop people like this is to vote Conservative on May 7." In a separate incident on Tuesday, Ukip candidate John Leathley said he was "appalled and deeply ashamed" of comments he made online about the newspaper columnist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown. His Facebook postings, which apparently followed an appearance last year by Ms Alibhai-Brown on BBC's Question Time, included statements that the commentator "needs a good shag" and she "would love a big black thing up her a". Mr Leathey, who is standing for Nigel Farage's party in Tony Blair's old constituency of Sedgefield, County Durham, apologized "unreservedly" in a statement. He said: "I read what I wrote now; I am shocked by them and am appalled and deeply ashamed of my words.
The comments were made during a private conversation in the evening and clearly were never meant to be publicly released, and they should never have been said. "I am very sorry and regret deeply being so coercive, it is out of character but no more excusable for that." The journalist responded by saying that Mr Leathey's comments were "appalling"(The Telegraph)