WIGAN’S Ukip branch has been forced to shut down some of its social media accounts after a gruesome and offensive image was posted online.
The party closed its Ukip Wigan page on Facebook after a picture of blood-soaked children’s clothing bearing provocative language which smears the Labour Party and Islam was published.
I’ve known all along politics can get nasty but we’re trying to run an honest campaign and we won’t let this deter usMaureen McCoy - Wigan Ukip chair
It has closed a Twitter account too.
The image, which infers child sex abuse, prompted a storm of online protest and a bitter row has now erupted, with Ukip claiming the page was deliberately and maliciously targeted by someone trying to damage the party. Labour has expressed fury at the graphic image, calling it disturbing and offensive to victims of sexual violence.
The page had been deleted yesterday and the matter remains under investigation. The incident has also been reported to the Eurosceptic party’s national office.
The picture originally appeared on March 25 but the party only became aware of it on Monday and took immediate action to remove it.
Wigan Ukip chair Maureen McCoy said: “Someone who has nothing to do with us posted an offensive picture on the site. We were alerted to it on Monday and took it down.
“Coincidentally, there were all sorts of things being posted on Twitter and we were getting bombarded so we’ve removed that as well.
“It’s people who don’t like Ukip who are just targeting us for their own gains and hoping some of the mud will stick to us.
“We’ve no idea who it is and we don’t know how to track them down. If we do find out we will try to discover what their motives and intentions are, but we won’t be retaliating.
“I’ve known all along politics can get nasty but we’re trying to run an honest campaign and we won’t let this deter us.”
Wigan Ukip has now said it will police its internet presence every day to ensure further unsavoury content does not appear in the run-up to the general election.
The image was widely criticised on social media, with users across the country taking to Twitter to voice their condemnation of the picture.
The Labour Party has also strongly expressed its anger at the image.
A spokesman said: “There is not a day goes by without Ukip hitting the headlines for all the wrong reasons.
“The post was particularly offensive to those who have suffered sexual abuse and it is disturbing that Ukip locally felt it was acceptable to share this message on their social media platforms.”