The inside word on Bloom by Paul Brand

Calendar's political correspondent Paul Brand gives his version of how the controversial MEP for Yorkshire and Humber sealed his fate.

Godfrey Bloom MEP

Bloom says it's his job to upset

Godfrey Bloom , the Yorkshire and the Humber UKIP MEP has dismissed the furore over comments he made about oversea aid

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Ukip MEP: "We've not been afraid to answer difficult questions."

Amjad Bashir, one of three Ukip MEPs in the Yorkshire and the Humber region, said his party was 'overjoyed' with the result:

It shows the hard work that we've put in. We've not been afraid to go out to the public, be asked difficult questions and answer those difficult questions.

We've also listened and other parties have failed to do that.

– Amjad Bashir MEP, Ukip

The businessman from Leeds also said his election showed his party is not a racist organisation:

Here I am, of Asian birth, of Asian parentage, Muslim, and I have been selected by this so-called racist party. It disproves that completely.

The party, in selecting me, I was voted in, it was a democratic process where the whole party nationally voted for me. I got the second highest number of votes and, therefore, I was selected for the area.

– Amjad Bashir MEP, Ukip

Ukip topped the poll in the Yorkshire and the Humber region with more than 400,000 votes.

Rotherham, where the party did well in Thursday's council election, was one of the earliest to see the party come in first. It was followed by others including Wakefield, York, Selby and North East Lincolnshire.

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UKIP candidate Roger Helmer speaks to Newark voters

Roger Helmer, the Ukip MEP for the East Midlands, is to fight the parlimentary by-election in Newark next month.

Roger Helmer in Newark today
Roger Helmer in Newark today

He has been out in the constituency today speaking to voters about the seat he will contest instead of party leader Nigel Farage who said his candidacy would be a distraction.

The seat was vacated by former Tory MP Patrick Mercer who resigned after a cash for questions scandal.

The by-election will be held on June 5.

The Conservatives have selected Robert Jenrick to try to retain the seat after Mercer's resignation while Labour's candidate is Michael Payne.

The Liberal Democrats are expected to announce their choice in the coming days while the Buss Pass Elvis party are also likely to announce their runner.

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National

Ukip's Ayling 'must apologise' for immigration remarks

Labour MP David Hanson wants Victoria Ayling to apologise. Credit: Labour Party

Shadow immigration minister David Hanson called for an apology after comments made by Ukip councillor Victoria Ayling.

"This type of offensive language should have no place in modern Britain," he said.

"British people do not deserve to be 'sent back home' because this is their home.

"It has taken us years to defeat the ideology and language of the NF [National Front] and the views of the BNP [British National Party] and they should not be resurrected by someone calling themselves a serious politician.

"She needs to apologise and repudiate the use of this type of language and thinking."

Ukip release statement backing Victoria Ayling

Ukip says it will stand by Victoria Ayling and has dismissed allegations that she holds extreme views.

"These comments were made 5 years ago when Ms Ayling was a Conservative candidate. Off the cuff remarks have been deliberately misconstrued. We believe, and she assures us, that these comments refer to the status of illegal entrants to the UK. We cannot comment on material made while she was a Conservative candidate but we believe her to be a good councillor and upstanding citizen and will support her through this."

– Ukip spokesperson
National

Ayling wary of 'waving National Front flag a bit'

Other remarks made by Ukip councillor Victoria Ayling in the Daily Mail video include:

...send them back.

[Rob Ayling] It's a bit National Front isn't it?

[Victoria Ayling] It's right though. But anyway...

Multiculturalism does not work - Britishness does.

[Away from camera] Multiculturalism is dead, I'm allowed to say that but maybe 'Britishness' is waving the National Front flag a bit.

I just want to send the lot back, but I can't say that.

[Rob Ayling] We'll nip that out in case...

[Victoria Ayling] Bribery, blackmail! We need the blackmail music, don't we!

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