A Ukip candidate has sparked outrage after criticising the parents of the Syrian child pictured washed up dead on a beach - for being "greedy for the good life in Europe".
Peter Bucklitsch, who finished fourth in the Wimbledon constituency at the General Election, shocked Twitter users by claiming that the three-year-old Aylan Kurdi was "well clothed & well fed".
He suggested the boy's parents should not have risked his life by trying to make the 13-mile journey across the Mediterranean from Turkey to the Greek island of Kos.
In a shocking post on Twitter, he added: "Queue jumping costs". He also made the remarkable claim that Turkey "is not a place where the family was in danger" and said: "Leaving that safe place put the family in peril".
His posts triggered a furious backlash on Twitter, with users describing him as "evil," "heartless" and "unbelievably cruel," while high profile figures such as Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron and ex-footballer Stan Collymore also denounced his remarks.
Mr Bucklitsch is understood to have been expelled by the Liberal Democrats in 2011 after he stood for the Conservatives in a council election. Tim Farron, the Liberal Democrat leader, took to Twitter to denounce his comments:
In one resonating response, a user replied to Mr Bucklitsch by editing his tweet so it read: "The little Syrian boy died because his parents wanted life":
The overwhelming response to the pictures of the three-year-old toddler has been one of compassion, grief and a desire for Britain to take in its fair share of Syrian refugees.
More than a thousand people have backed The Independent's campaign calling on the Government to step up its intake.
However the Government is continuing to resist the calls, insisting it is already providing enough help to alleviate the humanitarian crisis stemming from the civil war in Syria.
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