Britain's UKIP drops candidate for saying he'd shoot rival
As Britain's political leaders spent a final day campaigning yesterday, the election race drew to a bumpy close for the UK Independence Party (UKIP), which suspended a candidate for saying he would shoot his Conservative opponent.
Robert Blay, who was running in the southern English seat of North East Hampshire, was recorded by an undercover reporter saying of Conservative candidate Ranil Jayawardena that he would "put a bullet between his eyes" if Jayawardena became prime minister.
The Daily Mirror ran footage of Blay making the comments and saying Jayawardena, who has Sri Lankan heritage, was "not British enough to be in our Parliament".
"We've suspended him immediately, which is the right thing to do, and we do have a history of getting rid of people when they do something wrong very quickly indeed," said UKIP deputy chief Paul Nuttall.
It is the latest in a string of embarrassing comments by members of UKIP, which has seen support grow for its anti-European Union stance and hopes to win a handful of seats today.
Small parties could play a major role in determining who governs Britain after an election that polls suggest is too close to call. Neither the Conservatives nor Labour look likely to win a majority of House of Commons seats, and their poll ratings have barely shifted during the monthlong campaign.
Both big parties, however, insisted they were aiming for outright victory. Prime Minister David Cameron said he hadn't spent time planning for postelection talks with prospective coalition partners.
"I'm out there trying to convince people that the Conservative Party has the right answers to keep the economy growing, to keep creating those jobs, cutting those taxes, investing in our NHS (health service)," he said.