Ukip’s suspended general secretary has claimed he possesses evidence proving a "consensual" relationship existed between him and a high-profile female Ukip member accusing him of sexual harassment.
Roger Bird told The Daily Telegraph he is prepared to release emails and text messages between him and 35-year-old Natasha Bolter, who alleges that Mr Bird made an indecent proposal on the day that he assessed her as a potential candidate.
Ms Bolter, formerly a Labour Party activist whose defection in September was announced with great fanfare, was expected to secure the party’s nomination as a parliamentary candidate for Basildon, Essex. She has now quit the party over her allegation of sexual harassment.
She told The Times that Mr Bird, 41, attempted to seduce her at his London club during the interview process for the candidacy.
“When I went I could see that he wasn’t really interested in what I had to offer as a politician,” she said.
Mr Bird, who has been suspended from Ukip pending an internal investigation, has denied all of the accusations, claiming: “I think a consensual relationship keenly pursued on big sides.”
He alleges he assessed her based solely on her merits and a relationship started eight days after their first meeting on 10 September.
“I am going to make my case. Everything I am saying is backed by emails and text messages. There are plenty of emails and text messages between us which how it was a consensual relationship with interest on both sides.
“I have done nothing wrong. I am a single man, she is also single, we are both single people who conducted a consensual relationship outside the office.
“I'm very sorry that a story like his should have arisen because it detracts from our [Ukip’s] central messages. The party had to respond in a formal way and conduct an appropriate investigation.”
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Oxford educated Ms Bolter also claims Mr Bird, who also defected from Labour in September of this year, persisted in pursuing her after the initial meeting and invited her to his club in October.
Mr Bird claims that they were already in a relationship in October, but that it “ultimately didn’t work out,” ending on 2 November.