UKIP has suspended its judgement about the ‘racist rant’ allegations made against the party’s Lincolnshire group leader.
Steve Crowther, the UKIP chairman, announced today that Coun Chris Pain will step down as the party’s East Midlands Regional Committee chairman though he will remain the party’s county council ward-holder for Burgh and Wainfleet, pending the outcome of police investigations.
Coun Pain was accused of racism last month when the Sunday Mirror and Hope Not Hate campaign group published comments he allegedly made on Facebook referring to immigrants as ‘bomb-making, camel-riding, goat-********, ragheads’, amongst other offensive descriptions.
Coun Pain strenuously denied the allegations, claiming his account was hacked in a malicious attack against him and UKIP.
Although his party leader Nigel Farage recently said the comments, if true, were ‘over the top’, yesterday’s National Executive Committee raised doubts about the validity of the allegations.
“UKIP deplores racism, but is also aware that the party is under concerted attack from political organisation such as Hope Not Hare who are attempting to thwart our progress,” said Mr Crowther.
“We will deal with any proven instance of genuine racism appropriately, but will resist politically motivated campaigns designed to inhibit our growing popular support.
“We are aware of the increasing amount of internet hacking and counterfeiting, and will continue to work with the police and service providers to establish the veracity of any such allegations, which may be made and their sources.”
Lincolnshire Police has confirmed it was ‘aware’ of the allegations and takes all forms of racism ‘very seriously’.
However it has also highlighted the difficulties in pursuing evidence of posts made over social networking sites.