Ukip 'knowingly let violent criminals and racists stand for election'

A leaked dossier details red flags raised with candidates

Jon Stone,Alex Sims
Thursday 11 February 2016 10:07 GMT
Many candidates who raised red flags with the party were ultimately allowed to stand
Many candidates who raised red flags with the party were ultimately allowed to stand (Getty)

Ukip allowed criminals with a violent past as well as racists and homophobes to stand as candidates during the last election, according to a report.

The Times newspaper says it has obtained a leaked dossier showing that the party was aware of but ignored the controversial backgrounds of a number of its candidate.

Fourteen of the party’s candidates from the May elections are reported to have a violent past while five have been convicted for offences included grievous bodily harm and assault.

A further 23 candidates of the candidates expressed sexist, racist, or homophobic views, one expressed support for the far-right English Defence League street gang.

The candidates stood for a mixture of MP and council positions.

The newspaper says that in most cases, the candidates in the dossier were initially barred from standing after a vetting process but then managed to reverse the decision at appeal.

Of 200 candidates blocked by David Soutter, Ukip’s head of candidates in 2014, 128 challenged their rejection and 115 were allowed to run.

Leaked documents further reveal other party members who applied for selection included drug dealers, a convicted murderer and a sex offender.

A Ukip spokesman said: “Our candidates team looked at thousands of candidates last year and generally associations such as this would raise a red flag.

“Discretion was held by the then head of candidates, Mr [David] Soutter.”

Mr Souter himself faced allegations in the Daily Mail newspaper in May that he tampered with the selection process in a key seat. He is no longer head of candidates for Ukip.

Ukip won only one seat at the 2015 election despite getting 12.6 per cent of the overall vote share.

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