UKIP suspends general secretary Roger Bird for ‘alleged impropriety’
UKIP has suspended its general secretary Roger Bird – who defended the party from claims of homophobia – over allegations of ‘impropriety’.
The allegations made against him were not specified – but are related to his conduct with regard to candidate selection.
Mr Bird was previously the party’s Chairman in the South East of England – and was himself responsible for suspending UKIP councillor David Silvester, who claimed that same-sex marriage caused storms that battered the UK.
Mr Bird had disassociated the party from Mr Silvester’s comments, saying: “We cannot have any individual using the UKIP banner to promote their controversial personal beliefs which are not shared by the Party.
“Everyone is entitled to their own religious ideology which is central to a free and fair society. Councillor Silvester’s views are his own and in no way reflect the Party’s position. Indeed Councillor Silvester himself has clearly stated this.
“However, Councillor Silvester has today acted contrary to Party requests and continued to court the media in order to promote his own personal beliefs. This has caused significant offence to many people and goes against the core principles of UKIP.
“It is not fair on the many thousands of hard working members of UKIP to have one person take attention away from their efforts and successes by promoting their own controversial views despite being requested not to do so.”
A UKIP spokesperson said of Mr Bird: “Unfortunately, UKIP has had to suspend Mr Bird pending a full investigation into allegations made against him. The party has acted swiftly and decisively and will not tolerate impropriety of any kind amongst its staff.”
Mr Bird was previously listed as a key member of UKIP’s top team – but the party has been quick to remove all reference to him.
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