Yesterday we brought you the story of a Labour PPC brought down by inappropriate “tweets”. But if this was the first scalp claimed by Twitter in this election, it’s certainly not the first time social media have tripped up a prospective parliamentary candidate in recent weeks.
Ukip’s Paul Wiffen, who is campaigning to be MP for Ilford South, last week felt the urge to respond to a post critical of his party. The CommunityCare blog had condemned an anti-asylum leaflet emanating from Ukip, something my colleague George Eaton wrote about.
Wiffen’s subsequent user comment included the following paragraph:
You left-wing scum are all the same, wanting to hand our birthright to Romanian gypsies who beat their wives and children into begging and stealing money they can gamble with, Muslim nutters who want to kill us and put us all under mediaeval Sharia law, the same Africans who sold their Afro-Caribbean brothers into a slavery that Britain was the first to abolish (but you still want to apologize for!)
Wiffen was duly suspended from his party. But it seems Ukip high command (aka Lord Pearson, one supposes) is more forgiving than Labour. Following an apology from Wiffen, it has now reinstated its candidate.
Stuart MacLennan, who referred to “old boots”, “chavs” and “coffin dodgers” while Wiffen was attacking the Africans, wife-beating “Romanian gypsies” and “Muslim nutters”, must be a little bemused today.
(Hat tip: Adam Tinworth.)