UK Politics

UKIP bans candidate over 'racist views'

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Media captionNigel Farage says Andre Lampitt "should have been weeded out"

The UK Independence Party has suspended a council candidate featured in its latest election broadcast for sharing "repellent" opinions on Twitter.

Posts put up by builder Andre Lampitt had expressed "extreme racist views", a source said.

UKIP leader Nigel Farage, who has launched an investigation into his selection, said he was "very angry".

Mr Lampitt featured in an election broadcast on Wednesday, expressing his views on the effects of immigration.

Shown wearing a hard hat, he complained that "since the lads from Eastern Europe" had arrived in the UK and undercut him, he had found it a "real struggle" to provide for his family.

'Major error'

But after being made aware of posts he previously made on Twitter, officials acted swiftly against Mr Lampitt, who is seeking to become a councillor in Merton, south London.

Among his reported comments were criticisms of Islam and Nigerians, and a suggestion that Labour leader Ed Miliband was Polish.

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Media captionAndre Lampitt appeared in Wednesday's party election broadcast

A UKIP spokesman said: "We are deeply shocked that Mr Lampitt has expressed such repellent views.

"His membership of the party has been suspended immediately pending a full disciplinary process."

Mr Farage told the BBC: "I'm very disappointed that someone like this has been allowed to slip through the net."

He added: "Someone somewhere has made a very, very major error."

He said: "Something's gone wrong with our systems. This guy should have been weeded out and he wasn't."

Asked about Mr Lampitt's appearance in the broadcast, Mr Farage replied it had happened "because he was accredited and was said to be a good candidate. I'm going to find out what's gone wrong and someone's going to take the rap for this.

"But please don't think we have a monopoly on stupid people or extreme people. It happens in all parties, I'm afraid."

Mr Lampitt's Twitter account appears to have been taken down.

Before this happened, he described himself online as: "Born British in Rhodesia and proud of heritage sad at how Britain is run."

Labour's shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said on Twitter: "Appalling tweets from UKIP member chosen to front campaign. UKIP should reflect very carefully on the way they encourage nasty divisive views."

Lib Dem president Tim Farron said: "We must make a stand against the politics of hate."