Ukip's Roger Bird suspended following sexual harassment allegations by candidate Natasha Bolter

 
Jessica Morris
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Ukip's general secretary Roger Bird has been accused of sexual harassment (Source: YouTube)

A high-profile Ukip candidate has quit the party after saying she was sexually harassed by its general secretary, according to reports.

Natasha Bolter, a key speaker at the party's annual conference, is said to have pulled out of hustings for the winnable seat in South Basildon, Essex.

She told The Times she had been sexually harassed by Ukip's general secretary Roger Bird who took her for a second prospective candidate interview at the Oxford and Cambridge club.

"I thought it was because I was nervous. (But) when I went I could see that he wasn't really interested in what I had to offer as a politician", she said. "He took me down to the snooker room and said 'I find you very attractive'. He said 'Would you like to come home with me'."

Bird told the BBC that he and Bolter had been in a relationship.

"We were in a relationship briefly, but that relationship developed well after she had been admitted to the approved candidates list, so her selection was not connected to that", he said.


Natasha Bolter speaking at the Ukip conference in September (Source: YouTube)

Ukip said Bird had been suspended on December 7 after allegations of impropriety by a female candidate.

In a statement Ukip said:

Shortly after a claim came to light about the conduct of Mr Bird with regard to candidate selection, the UK Independence Party took action swiftly and decisively, including steps involving external human resources consultants, as well as following due process and the party's constitution to the letter.

A UKIP spokesperson later commented:

Unfortunately, UKIP has had to suspend Mr Bird pending a full investigation into allegations made against him. The party has acted swiftly and decisively and will not tolerate impropriety of any kind amongst its staff.

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