Bloom unrepentant over " Bongo bongo land" remarks

Godfrey Bloom MEP
Godfrey Bloom MEP Photo: Press Association

A UK Independence Party Euro MP has dismissed the furore over comments he made about oversea aid and joked that he will apologise to the ambassador of "bongo bongo land" if anyone is offended by what he said.

Godfrey Bloom, Ukip MEP for Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire, was recorded questioning the UK's oversea aid payments, claiming the recipients spend the money on luxuries.

He told a meeting of supporters in the Midlands those who received aid spent the money on "Ray-Ban sunglasses, apartments in Paris, Ferraris and all the rest of it".

Asked what he would do if Ukip said "mind your language", Mr Bloom told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "I'd say, 'Righto, sorry, sorry everybody'. If I've offended anybody in bongo bongo land I shall write to the ambassador at the Court of St James's and apologise to him personally.

"Look, my job is to upset The Guardian and The BBC - I love it, I love it."

Godfrey Bloom MEP in Hull today
Godfrey Bloom MEP in Hull today Credit: ITV Yorkshire

Mr Bloom said charity begins at home and he believed he was standing up for "ordinary people" who are unrepresented in the current political system.

He said: "What I am suggesting is when a country has £1 trillion of debt and we're cutting our hospitals, our police force and we are destroying our defence services, that the money should stay at home and people who want to give money to worthwhile charities... what I would argue is that is for the individual citizen, it's not for the likes of David Cameron to pick our pockets and send money to charities of his choice.

"If I want to send money to charity, I will do it of my own accord thank you."

He added: "There are people in this country who can't get treatment for cancer. There are people who are waiting in a queue for dialysis machines. All I'm saying is, and I think you'll find most of your listeners will agree with me rather than The Guardian, that money should stay at home. Charity begins at home."

When questioned if he believed some people might be offended by his comments as UK aid money helps people who are dying, Mr Bloom said: "No I think I'm standing up for ordinary people at the pub, the cricket club, the rugby club, the sort of people who remain completely unrepresented under the political system that we have."

Mr Bloom, in response to suggestions people might not want to vote for a party that had a member who referred to "bongo bongo land", added: "We live in a free country, I'm a libertarian, please don't vote for me if you don't agree with me. I wouldn't expect you to.

"But if you're fed up with £1 billion a month going abroad with no audit trail when we're cutting our police and hospitals, vote for me."