Ukip is investigating comments about the migrant crisis posted on the Twitter feed of one of its election candidates, which suggested that three-year-old Aylan Kurdi died because “his parents were greedy for the good life in Europe”.
The remark, on the account of former Wimbledon election candidate Peter Bucklitsch, sparked outrage on the social media site and was condemned as “grotesque and awful” by Ukip MP Douglas Carswell.
Meanwhile, Ukip accused a BBC presenter of “prejudice” against the party, after he branded Mr Carswell’s own use of language “abhorrent” in a prickly interview about the refugee issue on the News Channel.
The Clacton MP accused interviewer Simon McCoy of a “bizarre rant”, while a Ukip spokesman said his comment “reflects on the prejudices of that BBC presenter against Ukip”.
The tweet on Mr Bucklitsch’s feed came in response to widely-circulated photographs of Syrian refugee Aylan’s body lying on a Turkish beach after he drowned with his brother and mother as they attempted to reach Greece by boat.
The post read: “The little Syrian boy was well clothed & well fed. He died because his parents were greedy for the good life in Europe. Queue jumping costs.”
Despite the response, its author did not back down, posting a second message reading: “Predictable unthinking outrage. Turkey is not a place where the family was in danger. Leaving that safe place put the family in peril.”
Speaking on the BBC News Channel, Mr Carswell said he had not seen the tweets, but added: “I am aware that some people sometimes say some pretty obnoxious things on social media and if a candidate were to do that they would, I hope, be made an ex-Ukip candidate and slung out of the party.
“It’s a pretty grotesque and awful thing to say.”
A Ukip spokeswoman said that an internal investigation was under way.
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