UKIP's Chris Pain faces racist Facebook post probe
Police are looking into claims that racist comments were posted on the Facebook page of a prominent UKIP councillor.
A newspaper alleged that Chris Pain, UKIP's East Midlands regional chairman, made offensive comments about illegal immigrants.
Mr Pain, from Lincolnshire, denied making the comments and said his internet access had been hacked.
Lincolnshire Police said they were gathering information about the matter.
A police spokesperson said: "A detective inspector has been given the task of information gathering and looking into it."
Police will look at whether the comments amount to inciting racial hatred, as well as who is responsible for posting them.
Mr Pain, who is also leader of the UKIP group on Lincolnshire County Council, said the comments posted online were "sick".
UKIP in Lincolnshire
- UKIP won 16 seats on Lincolnshire County Council in the recent local elections, meaning the Conservatives lost overall control.
- The Conservatives then formed a coalition with the Liberal Democrats.
- Commentators have suggested that UKIP leader Nigel Farage will stand in Boston and Skegness at the general election, given the party's success in the area.
- Councillor Chris Pain has said he, rather than Mr Farage, will stand in Boston and Skegness at the next election, against Conservative MP Mark Simmonds.
"It's disgusting but I have been told since that it's one of those sick jokes that's been doing a round-robin," said Mr Pain, who is councillor for Wainfleet and Burgh.
"I don't agree with that at all."'Distasteful'
He said he had looked back through his Facebook page and could not find the comments attributed to him.
Someone could have hacked into one of his two internet accounts, he said, or his Facebook page could have been hacked or cloned.
He said he has reported this potential hacking to police himself.
"What makes it even more distasteful is I've got friends of all creed and colour," he added.
"I'm the last person you would call racist and it's distasteful."
Police said the matter was brought to their attention by someone from Lincolnshire County Council.
David O'Connor, the council's executive director for performance and governance, said: "I have advised any complainants they may wish to consider whether to refer any concerns to the police."