UKIP candidate suspended after shooting threat
A parliamentary candidate for the UK Independence Party (UKIP) has been suspended after being filmed threatening to shoot a British Asian Tory rival.
On Tuesday, the eurosceptic right-wing political party suspended Robert Blay, running for parliament in North East Hampshire, following the release of the video footage.
Blay threatened his rival Ranil Jayawardena (pictured below), whose parents are from Sri Lanka, while speaking to an undercover reporter from the British daily The Mirror during a public meeting attended by UKIP leader Nigel Farage on May 2 in the seaside town of Ramsgate, Kent.
The UKIP candidate, formerly a member of the Conservative party, told the reporter that Jayawardena had been tipped to potentially be the UK’s first British Asian prime minister. Blay then said, “if he is I will personally put a bullet between his eyes.”
When speaking of the possibility that he will be defeated by Jayawardena, Blay said, “It makes me quite sick.”
“But I’ve always said in my constituency you could put a monkey out there with a blue rosette on and it would win,” Blay added.
The UKIP candidate argued in the video that Jayawardena was not “British enough to be in our parliament” as his family has only been in the UK since the 1970s.
“I’ve got 400 years of ancestry where I live. He hasn’t got that,” Blay added.
Jayawardena responded to Blay’s remarks by saying he was shocked somebody with such views could be chosen as a UKIP candidate.
A spokesman for the UKIP described Blay’s comments as “abhorrent” and offered an apology to Jayawardena “for any distressed caused” by the remarks.
Meanwhile, another UKIP parliamentary candidate John Leathley is facing calls for his suspension after recently surfaced postings of offensive remarks online about Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, a columnist for the British daily The Independent. The UKIP candidate apologized for his words, which Alibhai-Brown said are “sexist, it’s racist, it’s violent.”
The suspension of Blay came just two days before British voters are set to cast their ballots on May 7 in the country’s general elections.
Over the past years, the UKIP has been gaining popularity across England among Britons disaffected by mainstream party politics, particularly on closer integration with Europe and immigration.
The UKIP plans to reduce the inflow of immigration to the country and wants Britain to exit the European Union (EU).