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Ukip member suspended after 'workplace incident'

Ukip has suspended another of its general election candidates following an alleged workplace incident.

"UKIP has suspended the Scunthorpe PPC Stephen Howd whilst an investigation takes place into an alleged incident at his workplace," a party spokesman said.

Allegations of harassment have been made against me. The allegations are contested. They are now the subject of Tribunal proceedings and as such the matter is sub judice and it would not be appropriate for me to make any further comment.

– Stephen Howd

The news comes after Ukip MEP Janice Atkinson was suspended and dropped as a parliamentary candidate amid allegations a member of staff tried to overcharge EU expenses.

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Axing of Ukip MEP comes ahead of newspaper sting

Ukip's leadership appeared to have imposed the sanction ahead of a newspaper's publication of claims of wrongdoing by Ms Atkinson.

Ms Atkinson found herself in hot water last year after she was caught by TV cameras calling a Thai woman a "ting tong" - forcing party leader Nigel Farage into making a personal apology.

She insisted the comments were naive rather than malicious and said she was "incredibly sorry" for offending the couple.

The latest disciplinary issue for the anti-EU party came hours after Farage renewed warnings that he expected a "very dirty, nasty" general election campaign and urged his party to "turn the other cheek".

Farage: Some may say it's harsh to axe MEP over receipt claim

Ukip MEP and general election candidate Janice Atkinson Credit: PA

Nigel Farage said that Ukip has axed MEP Janice Atkinson over a receipt she submitted and suggested some people may view the party's treatment as "harsh".

The Sun said it had filmed a member of Atkinson's staff "apparently plotting to make a substantial bogus expenses claim".

Mr Farage told KentOnline that the suspension was related to "quite a serious allegation that a receipt that was submitted was not all it should have been".

We treat these things very seriously so we have acted quickly - some may say harshly - so we will have to wait and see.

It's as much about how you deal with it and we have shown we deal with this kind of thing very quickly.

– Ukip leader Nigel Farage

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Ukip MEP suspended over 'serious' financial allegations

Ukip MEP and general election candidate Janice Atkinson has been suspended and had the party whip removed "following allegations of a serious financial nature", the party said.

Ms Atkinson represents the South East in the European Parliament and was due to fight the Folkestone and Hythe Commons seat on May 7.

Ukip MEP and general election candidate Janice Atkinson Credit: PA

A party spokesman said it was "incredibly disappointed with Ms Atkinson, who appears to have exercised extremely poor judgment in acting in a way that the party has never and would never condone".

"The party has acted swiftly and immediately and, just as we showed when we suspended another MEP for financial irregularities, we always maintain a zero-tolerance attitude towards acts of this nature."

It gave no further details of the alleged behaviour that prompted the disciplinary action.

Ofcom: Ukip a 'major party' for General Election 2015

Communications regulator Ofcom has confirmed that Ukip is a “major party” in England and Wales for the General Election 2015 on May 7 and the English local and mayoral elections.

Ukip leader Nigel Farage. Credit: PA

The “major parties” are defined as:

  • In England the major parties are Labour, Conservative, Liberal Democrats and UKIP
  • In Wales they are Labour, Conservative, Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru, UKIP
  • In Scotland they are Labour, Conservative, Liberal Democrats and the Scottish National Party
  • In Northern Ireland, the major parties are Democratic Unionist, Sinn Fein, SDLP, the Alliance Party and Ulster Unionist

It means that in any constituency report, which can consider the redrawing of boundaries, Ukip’s candidate must also be invited to participate alongside other major parties. It also means that Ukip is entitled to a minimum of two party election broadcasts in England and Wales.

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