UKIP has been rocked by another scandal today following the discovery of a video in which their candidate standing for North East Hampshire, Robert Blay, made threatening comments against his Tory rival, Ranil Jayawardena. Mr. Jayawardena is a popular candidate for the area and many have said that he could be the first Asian Prime Minister.
The video, published by the Daily Mirror, showed Mr. Blay as he attended a public meeting for UKIP in Ramsgate, Kent on Saturday. In response to questions regarding Mr. Jayawardena winning the local seat, the Mirror reported that Mr. Blay 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."
Scandal for UKIP
As the polls open tomorrow, this could be a major issue for UKIP, which are expected to increase the number of Parliamentary seats they currently have in this upcoming election. The party currently has two seats, but there have been predictions that they could gain up to 20 or 30 seats. YouGov polls have UKIP with 12% of the votes, ahead of the Liberal Democrats at 9%. UKIP, a Eurosceptic party which many have labelled as "racist", has garnered support among UK citizens who are worried about rising immigration and rising payments to the EU.
However, the antics of many of it's supporters and members have damaged the party's reputation. There have been reports in some areas of the country that UKIP supporters have been writing racist messages and defacing opponent's campaign posters.
In the past year alone, the party has been rocked by an expenses scandal and one of its MEPs had to resign following the discovery of several homophobic comments he had made. In the past 24 hours, a member of UKIP, Elliot Nichols, has announced he made a mistake in joining the party and that he is rejoining the Conservative Party, citing recent events that made him rethink his choice in 2013.
Nigel Farage, the UKIP leader, is standing in South Thanet, though there has been speculation he will not win the seat. Should he fail to do so, Mr. Farage has stated that he will step down as leader of UKIP but with an increasing number of embarrassments plaguing his party there seems to be a decreasing number of party members who could be seen as suitable.
Police investigate threats.
With UKIP fighting hard to increase its seats in Parliament, a scandal is the last thing the party needs and the police are taking these threats seriously. They have spoken with Mr. Jayawardena at his house and are investigating the footage of the threats.
Mr. Blay has been suspended following the revelation of his comments and UKIP has spoken out against his statements and has also issued an apology to Mr. Jayawardena. While UKIP has declared that Mr. Blay's views do not reflect those of the party, this is not the first time that UKIP has been in trouble because of the comments of one of its members. Only the election tomorrow will reveal whether these scandals will cause a major problem for UKIP or if they will succeed in gaining even more political power. #Election 2015