Leicester

UKIP member calls for 'benefit claimants' driving ban

Leaflet Image copyright Mum Juice
Image caption Blogger Mum Juice said the leaflet was crumpled because "my first reaction was to throw it in the recycling"

A UKIP member has produced a leaflet calling for all "benefits claimants" to be banned from driving to free up space on the roads.

Lynton Yates said they should catch a bus instead, while cyclists should "go back to the pavements".

Mr Yates published the leaflet as part of a canvassing campaign for the general election, but UKIP has now suspended his candidature.

The BBC has tried to contact Mr Yates but he has not responded.

Mr Yates, who remains a Leicestershire county councillor for UKIP, also stated in the leaflet that he would send prisoners to overseas jails to reduce costs.

A statement from UKIP said: "Lynton Yates' views do not represent UKIP policy.

"He has apologised for any offence caused and was today suspended as a [general election] candidate."

UKIP earlier confirmed the leaflet was published by Mr Yates, following suggestions it was a hoax or spoof.

Shadow health minister Jamie Reed, a Labour MP, said: "It's beyond a joke now. Not so much a political party but a stag night out of control."

Image copyright Leicestershire County Council
Image caption Lynton Yates is still a Leicestershire county councillor

Mr Yates was a candidate for the Charnwood constituency in Leicestershire.

A photo of his leaflet was posted on Facebook by a blogger called Mum Juice, then spread more widely on Facebook and Twitter by a satirical group called Atos Miracles.

The leaflet said: "We could likely remove six million cars from the road if benefits claimants were not driving.

"Why do they have the privilege to spend the tax payers hard earned money on a car, when those in work are struggling to keep their own car on the road?

"These people really could catch a bus!"

On the topic of the cost of keeping criminals in prison, it continued: "I personally would look to overseas countries who could tender for their incarceration.

"I'm sure they could dramatically reduce this cost to the taxpayer."

Image caption Lynton Yates said benefits claimants should catch a bus instead of driving

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