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UK Politics

Godfrey Bloom shrugs off condemnation after demanding that Britain stops sending money to 'Bongo Bongo Land'

But Godfrey Bloom shrugs off criticism saying his remarks would 'probably double my vote in the north of England'

A Ukip MEP caught on camera demanding Britain stop sending money to "Bongo Bongo Land" has shrugged off condemnation and said it would "probably double my vote in the north of England".

Godfrey Bloom's comments about Britain's foreign aid contributions, much of which he said were spent by the recipients on flash cars and sunglasses, are now under scrutiny by the Ukip leadership and provoked outrage among political opponents.

Rushanara Ali, a shadow development minister, called on Ukip leader Nigel Farage to take action against Mr Bloom and was reported as saying: "It's just offensive and the kind of thing that should have been consigned to the history books.

The MEP made the remark about "Bongo Bongo Land" at a meeting in Wordsley in the West Midlands when he told supporters he couldn't understand why Britain gave foreign aid when it needed the money itself.

"How we can possibly be giving a billion pounds a month when we're in this sort of debt to bongo bongo land is completely beyond me," he said in the footage obtained by the Guardian.

"To buy Ray-Ban sunglasses, apartments in Paris, Ferraris and all the rest of it that goes with most of the foreign aid. F18s for Pakistan. We need a new squadron of F18s. Who's got the squadrons? Pakistan, where we send the money."

The comments echo those made by Tory MP Alan Clark who prompted a furious backlash in 1984 when, in a debate on immigration, he said: "Send them all back to Bongo Bongo Land." Two years later he was appointed Minister of Trade.

In the footage of the meeting in July Mr Bloom is also heard offering to hang the killers of soldier Lee Rigby and criticising the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) for ruling that full life sentences could not be handed down.

"You can torture people to death but you jolly well can't give them a full life sentence because that's against their human rights," he said. "We can't hang them because we're now a member of the European Union and it's embedded in the treaty of Rome.

"It's a personal thing, but I'd hang the bastards myself. Especially for some of these, especially for the guy who hacked the soldier to death. I do hope they would ask me to throw the rope over the beam because I'd be delighted to do so."

The MEP, who denied his comments were racist, and told the newspaper when asked about his speech: "What's wrong with that? I'm not a wishy-washy Tory. I don't do political correctness. The fact that the Guardian is reporting this will probably double my vote in the north of England."

He has previously provoked an outcry in comments on women when in 2004 he said: "No self-respecting small businessman with a brain in the right place would ever employ a lady of child-bearing age."

When he was given a seat on the European Parliament's women's rights committee he said, in what he later explained was intended to be a joke, that he was interested in the subject because: "I just don't think they clean behind the fridge enough."