Wales politics

UKIP drops candidate who suggested immigrants be 'gassed'

UKIP rosette Image copyright PA

UKIP Wales has suspended its candidate for a council by-election after he wrote on social media that immigrants should be gassed.

Bobby Douglas also suggested an American woman refused entry to the UK should have "painted herself black" and pretended she could not speak English to obtain benefits.

Mr Douglas will stand as an independent in the Caerphilly council by-election.

He said he deeply regretted any offence caused. The messages have been removed.

The poll is taking place in the Bedwas, Trethomas and Machen ward on 3 September.

The remarks, on Facebook, were made in 2014 and have been revealed by the Caerphilly Observer.

Mr Douglas has now posted a letter he was written to the party: "I deeply regret any offence I have caused by posting and reposting various remarks on Facebook.

"They were made in poor humour at a time when I was not a candidate and not even considering standing for election.

"I was furthermore not even a member of the party at the time these comments were made.

"I accept full responsibility for these comments and am therefore resigning my membership with immediate effect."

'Zero-tolerance'

UKIP Welsh assembly election campaign co-ordinator Sam Gould said he was "deeply disappointed".

"The comment are disgusting, vile and sickening," he said.

"The Facebook posts weren't visible to us when he was selected.

"We suspended him within two hours of finding out, and he's now no longer a member of the party - we have a zero-tolerance approach to this kind of thing."

After the general election campaign - during which there were several negative stories about the party's candidates - UKIP told BBC Wales its selection process for the 2016 assembly election campaign would be "very rigorous".

The other candidates in the by-election, caused by the death of Labour councillor Ray Davies, are Ray Davies (independent), Ron Davies (Plaid Cymru), John Dew (independent), Lisa Jones (Labour), and Rita Lukins (Conservative).

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