Saturday, May 30, 2015Saturday, May 30, 2015

UKIP member's Pakistan kidnap scandal past revealed

Published on Feb 4, 2014 10:29 PM

LONDON (REUTERS) - The UK Independence Party (UKIP), which wants Britain to leave the European Union (EU), suffered a setback ahead of European elections after a prominent party member confirmed he had spent time in jail for being involved in a kidnapping in Pakistan.

The scandal is the latest to buffet UKIP, which opinion polls show is on course to beat Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative party in May elections for the European Parliament and to split the centre-right vote at a national election in 2015.

BBC TV reported on Monday night that Mr Mujeeb ur Rehman Bhutto, who had previously appeared on television as a UKIP spokesman, was the former leader of a gang in Pakistan which was behind a high-profile kidnapping in Karachi in 2004.

"As soon as we were made aware of allegations relating to this report we confronted him and he immediately resigned his membership," UKIP said in a statement on Tuesday.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!