Lincolnshire

UKIP's Chris Pain steps down as regional chairman in racist probe

Councillor Chris Pain
Image caption Chris Pain was elected to Lincolnshire County Council in May

The East Midlands regional chairman of UKIP has stepped down over alleged racist comments posted on Facebook.

Chris Pain, a Lincolnshire councillor for Boston, blamed the remarks on a hacker but said he was stepping down as a "gesture of goodwill".

He will remain leader of the UKIP group on the county council.

UKIP's National Executive Committee (NEC) said it was suspending its judgement on Mr Pain until the police complete an investigation.

Lincolnshire police said a detective inspector was looking into the comments before deciding if there was a "case to answer".

Mr Pain, a Lincolnshire county councillor for Boston, was accused in a national newspaper of posting a "sickening rant" but he strongly denied the accusations saying his computer had been hacked.

On Monday he faced UKIP's NEC over the allegations and has since given up the role as chairman of the regional party.

In a statement, UKIP national chairman Steve Crowther said: "The NEC has decided to suspend judgement pending the outcome of Lincolnshire police's investigations into the allegations, and into the alleged hacking of Mr Pain's Facebook account."

He added that the party "deplores racism" but that it was under attack from several organisations wishing to undermine UKIP's credibility.

"We will deal with any proven instance of genuine racism appropriately but will resist politically-motivated campaigns designed to inhibit our growing popular support," he said.

On Tuesday, Mr Pain told BBC Radio Lincolnshire that he had been "cleared" by the NEC and was now waiting for a verdict from the police.

"I know my computer has been hacked multiple occasions, as has been highlighted by Apple and BT," he said.

"They [the national press] classed me as a racist but I've got lots of friends of all creeds and colour that I've known and I've been on holiday with for years so that's one of the stupidest statements anybody could make.

"UKIP's stance is against mass immigration, it's nothing to do with race, creed or colour."

A spokeswoman for Lincolnshire police said this type of inquiry could be lengthy because they tended to be "complex and technical".

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites