UKIP: New race storm as party canvasser Tony Nixon faces police probe over Facebook abuse

He made jokes on Facebook about destroying mosques, setting Muslims on fire and running over people from Pakistan with a bus

Investigation: UKIP canvasser Tony Nixon has been suspended by the party
Investigation: UKIP canvasser Tony Nixon has been suspended by the party
 
 
Ukip was plunged into yet another race storm today as one of its canvassers faced a police investigation over vile abuse posted online.

Tony Nixon made jokes on Facebook about destroying mosques, setting Muslims on fire and running over people from Pakistan with a bus.

The profile of the Ukip member, who claimed to have canvassed 800 homes in the run-up to today’s local elections, showed support for right-wing groups, including the English Defence League (EDL).

The account featured a Bulldog profile picture, with highly offensive images of President Obama and wife Michelle doctored to make the couple look like monkeys and a photograph of pigs eating copies of the Koran.

It also stated ‘Tony likes Islam – The Crime Against Humanity’.

In one post, Mr Nixon, of Great Broughton, North Yorkshire, tells a friend that the EDL and Ukip are on the same side ‘in the fight against traitors to Britain’.

In another, he rants: ‘Instead of turning Ground Zero into a mosque why not turn some mosques into ground zero?’

Police confirmed they were investigating the messages, as parts of the account were removed from public view.

A Ukip spokesman was ‘shocked’ to learn of the views, and said Mr Nixon was suspended with immediate effect and will be investigated by the party.

He added: “We do not tolerate members with any links to BNP, EDL or other extremist parties.

“We do not condone racist or any other inappropriate comments and regard them as totally abhorrent and if anyone else is discovered acting in such an appalling way they will be thrown out of the party.

“They are as unwelcome inside the party as they are outside the party.”

In one thread, Mr Nixon tells Ukip supporters that immigration was the number one topic among voters on the doorstep.

Some supporters urged him to keep his personal beliefs to himself as he allegedly warns of the ‘impending coming of a million or so Romanians and Bulgarians’.

One comment says: “You’re meant to be representing Ukip and Ukip’s candidate, not your other beliefs.”

Another adds: “Stop focusing on Muslims and focus on local issues for the local elections. You are just giving the Left ammunition to smear us.”

Ged Grebby, chief executive of Show Racism the Red Card group, condemned the remarks.

He said: “Ukip are meant to be a legitimate political party yet it seems some of their members are also supporters of far right groups such as the English Defence League or even the British National Party.

“If parties like Ukip want to remain legitimate they simply can’t have people like this canvassing on their behalf.”

Simon Cressy, of anti-racist group Hope Not Hate, added: “The words and language were disgusting and should be investigated by police.

“If Ukip wants to be viewed as a serious political party it has to rid itself of racists and bigots like this.”

Alex Wood is standing as the UKIP candidate in Blackmore Vale for Somerset County Council.
Pot plant impression, reaching for phone, or fascist salute? Alex Wood

 The Mirror told how Ukip candidate Alex Wood was suspended from the party this week after we revealed a photo allegedly showing him making a Nazi salute.

Mr Wood claimed he was reaching for a friend’s mobile phone, and party leader Nigel Farage claimed he had been ‘impersonating a pot plant’ in a pub.

But Mr Farage admitted the rapid growth of Ukip meant some inappropriate people ‘slipped through the net’.

Veteran Tory Ken Clarke sparked uproar last week when he labelled Ukip “a collection of clowns” and said the party was against foreigners.

Ukip claimed Tory Central Office had been trawling its members’ Facebook and Twitter pages looking for inappropriate material.

Nationally, the party is investigating six candidates over links to right-wing organisations.

North Yorkshire Police said of Mr Nixon’s on-line comments: “We are aware of the issue and officers are investigating to establish if any offences have been committed.

“It would not be appropriate to comment further until these enquiries are completed.”

Mr Nixon declined to comment, asking for any approach to be made via his Facebook page.

The Mirror has yet to hear back from him.

From The Daily Mirror . 030513

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