– UKIP leader Nigel Farage
I am in absolutely no doubt at all that that photograph of Alex Wood was nothing to do with a Nazi gesture. He was literally reaching across the pub to pull the camera away from a girlfriend who was photographing him and I have witness statements that support that. I am very angry that a 21-year-old was sacked from his job quite wrongly because of what was said in a national newspaper.
A UKIP local election candidate for Somerset pictured making a supposed Nazi-style salute was in fact trying to grab a camera from his girlfriend, party leader Nigel Farage has said.
Mr Farage said he believed the explanation given by Alex Wood for the photo which appeared on the front of the Daily Mirror.
But Mr Wood, 21, remains suspended while police investigate his claims offensive comments added to the picture were made by other people after his account was "hijacked", a Ukip spokesman said.
When Alex Wood, the suspended UKIP candidate for Blackmore Vale in the county elections for Somerset, was asked whether he was raising his hand in an alleged "Nazi" salute as was pictured on the front page of a newspaper, he said the photo had been misconstrued.
He said: "No I am not. The pictures that have appeared of me have been taken from a private Facebook account. These are not what they seem to be. First of all, the supposed salute was my left hand reaching for my friend's mobile phone.
He added: "She has made a statement which clears up the meaning of them.
"These statements are completely untrue, my Facebook has been hacked, this matter is being dealt with by the police."
He denied he has ever held any extreme right view.
He said: "Absolutely not. I see myself as a democratic libertarian. Racist, homophobic and fascists views absolutely disgust me. I am completely against such views. These statements are not mine."
Ukip leader Nigel Farage MEP says the party will "get rid" of an already suspended Somerset candidate if they find he has extremist views.
Alex Wood has denied being a racist after pictures emerged of him apparently making a Nazi salute on Facebook.
Suspended UKIP candidate, Alex Wood, explains the story behind the controversial photos that have surfaced from his Facebook page.
Suspended UKIP candidate Alex Wood denies being a racist after pictures emerged of him allegedly making a nazi salute.
Mr Wood was the UKIP candidate for Blackmore Vale in Somerset for the local elections taking place later this week.
– Alex Wood, suspended UKIP candidate
I deplore racism, fascism and nazism. I see myself as a democratic libertarian.
UKIP candidate Alex Wood, 21, has been suspended from standing in elections for Somerset County Council after photos appeared on his Facebook account apparently showing him making a Nazi-style salute.
Mr Wood was the candidate for Blackmoor Vale.