Election 2015 England

UKIP candidate Robert Blay suspended over shooting threat

Robert Blay
Image caption Robert Blay appeared to threaten to shoot rival candidate Ranil Jayawardena

A UKIP candidate has been suspended after being filmed apparently threatening to shoot a Conservative rival.

Robert Blay, who is standing in North East Hampshire, was secretly filmed by the Daily Mirror making the comments about Ranil Jayawardena.

The recording appears to show Mr Blay threatening to shoot Mr Jayawardena if he ever became prime minister.

UKIP leader Nigel Farage said the comments were "stupid".

North East Hampshire was held by the Conservatives at the last election with a majority of more than 18,500.

'Immediately suspended'

The Mirror published a video of Mr Blay speaking to its investigators at a public meeting on Saturday in Ramsgate, Kent, addressed by party leader Nigel Farage.

Ex-Conservative Mr Blay noted Mr Jayawardena had been tipped as Britain's first Asian prime minister.

Image caption Ranil Jayawardena has said he is shocked by Robert Blay's comments

The Mirror reported that he said: "If he is I will personally put a bullet between his eyes. If this lad turns up to be our prime minister I will personally put a bullet in him. That's how strong I feel about it."

Questioning Mr Jayawardena's background, he said: "His family have only been here since the 70s. You are not British enough to be in our parliament.

"I've got 400 years of ancestry where I live. He hasn't got that."

A UKIP spokesman said Mr Blay had been suspended as soon as the remarks came to light - and offered an apology to Mr Jayawardena.

"Any comments of this sort have absolutely no place in British politics or public life, and the party would like to take this opportunity to apologise to Mr Jayawardena for any distress caused."

'Fewer bad eggs'

Mr Farage said his was not the only party to have experienced problems with some of its candidates.

He said: "Just a sense of perspective - there've now been 319 Liberal Democrat, Labour and Conservative councillors who've been arrested, imprisoned or sacked since January 1st this year.

"I'm talking about paedophilia, racial assault and everything else, so actually we've had fewer bad eggs this year than the other parties have."

Mr Jayawardena said he was shocked somebody with Mr Blay's apparent views could be selected as a UKIP candidate.

He said: "My family believes in hard work. My father came to this country to do just that - never claiming a penny from the state.

"He's contributed to society as a magistrate - and I've done the same as a local councillor.

"I hope to contribute positively to our country by representing my community - the community in which I grew up - in parliament."

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