UKIP's Hamilton defends candidate who sent offensive tweets about Muslims

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image copyrightYouTube/Voice of Wales
image captionStan Robinson was a presenter on the YouTube channel "Voice of Wales"

UKIP's Wales leader has defended a Senedd election candidate who sent offensive tweets about Muslims.

The Muslim Council of Wales says Stan Robinson's Twitter account is a "collection of hateful, bigoted and deeply worrying misinformation and conspiracies".

Neil Hamilton said the Twitter account was "of no consequence" to the election.

Mr Robinson said free speech is "an intrinsic British value".

Stan Robinson is number three on the UKIP South Wales West list.

On his Twitter account, Mr Robinson has in the past fortnight posted several derogatory messages about Islam and Muslims.

He has also retweeted a message labelling migrants "parasites" who should be "arrested" or "shot" to "stop the invasion".

One graphic image was tweeted at the end of last month, depicting the Prophet Muhammad and suggesting child abuse.

Mr Robinson was one of the presenters of a YouTube channel named Voice of Wales.

Following a Newyddion S4C investigation, where the channel was accused of racism, YouTube removed the channel.

A co-presenter, Dan Morgan, is also standing for the party on the same list, in the number two position.

WALES ELECTION: THE BASICS

What elections are happening? On 6 May, people across Wales will vote to elect 60 Members of the Senedd (MSs). The party or parties that can command the support of a majority of members will form the Welsh government. Find out more here.

What powers does the Welsh Parliament have? MSs pass laws on many aspects of day-to-day life in Wales, such as health, education and transport. They also have control over some taxes. Defence, foreign policy and immigration are decided by the UK Parliament.

How do I vote? Anyone who lives in Wales and is registered to vote is eligible, so long as they are aged 16 or over on the day of the election. You can register to vote online.

Muslim Council for Wales General Secretary, Dr Abdul Azim Ahmed, told Newyddion: "UKIP must justify why such an individual is representing their party, and we in Wales must also face the disturbing question of why such a candidate is able to stand in the first place."

"It is chilling that he [Stan Robinson] is a candidate for the Senedd," he added.

Mr Hamilton launched the party's Senedd election manifesto in a live Facebook stream on Tuesday.

Following a question from BBC Wales he said: "I'm afraid a free society does mean that some people will be offended, we can't actually have a law which says you can't say anything. If there's the slightest risk you offend somebody

"So whatever view you take Stan Robinson's Twitter account I'm afraid it's of no consequence in this election, which is about the prosperity of Wales".

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionNeil Hamilton is UKIP's interim UK leader as well as its Wales leader

Mr Robinson said in response that recent cartoons he tweeted were in the "support of the teacher in Batley" at the centre of a row over the use of an image of the Prophet Muhammad.

He said he had made a retweet "in error" and had "taken this down now that it has been brought to my attention. I can only apologise for what was an honest mistake on my part.

"I must stress that I condemn violence in all its forms," he said.

"Whilst I understand that many people are frustrated by this government's lack of action on our borders, incitement to violence is completely unacceptable and beyond the pale."

UKIP won seven seats in the last Senedd election in 2016.

By the end of the last Senedd term, they had just one Member of the Senedd remaining.

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