Published: 15:00, 19 August 2014 |
A Thai woman described as a "ting tong" by a UKIP MEP has revealed she will continue to support the party.
Ramsgate mobile food seller Fa Munday was described using the offensive term by Janice Atkinson, who represents the south east.
But Nigel Farage said Mrs Atkinson "would not face formal sanctions", regarding the racist slur as "a first offence". She has subsequently apologised to the couple.
But Mr and Mrs Munday - who are "deeply insulted" by the comments recorded following an interview with BBC South East - said they were less than impressed by Mrs Atkinson's 'apology'.
Long-term UKIP supporter Vince Munday said Mrs Atkinson - who phoned them yesterday - was 'quite belligerent'.
He told the BBC Southeast: "She was quite forthright in pointing out what a lovely lady she is. I disagree."
UKIP leader Nigel Farage visited the couple today to apologise on the party's behalf.
He told KentOnline: "Janice has made some very ill-judged comments, which I disapprove of very strongly. I have made a visit to the Mundays personally to apologise for what has happened and I think they have accepted the apology."
"I will be having a chat with Janice in the next few days to tell her she has gone way over the line. Janice will warned that this must not happen again.Yes, we do have [disciplinary] procedures but it would be unusual to bring disrepute charges."
He said he considered the comments made by his fellow MP "a first offence" - although she landed in hot water when she was photographed making a 'V' gesture to protestors during the campaign for the European elections in May.
Asked if he thought the comments would reinforce the views of those who considered UKIP to be racist, he said: "Every single political organisation in the country has elements...people will judge the party by the way they deal with these problems. "
He said he had "sprung into action" and taken "swift action" to apologise and that was better than getting involved in a potentially lengthy disciplinary process.
"UKIP has had a phenomenal year...there will be mistakes along the way."
Mr Farage phoned Mr and Mrs Munday last last night and visited today after Ms Atkinson also apologised for saying Mrs Munday, who runs a mobile food business in the town with husband Vince, was "a ting tong from somewhere".
Mr Munday said he and his wife intend to continue supporting UKIP, but said if Ms Atkinson remained as an MEP they would "seriously consider" their position.
He said: "Ms Atkinson telephoned me to apologise, but I felt her attitude was condescending and patronising.
"I believe she is more suited to the British Movement than UKIP. She has revealed her true colours and they are nasty."
UKIP leader Nigel Farage rang Mr Munday late last night.
Mr Munday added: "He was extremely apologetic for what happened. I have known Nigel since we worked together in the City years ago and I know categorically that he is not a racist.
"I have supported UKIP for more than four years and Fa more recently. Fa keeps saying that none of this is fair on Nigel and that he has done nothing wrong.
"We know that this sort of thing is not what UKIP is about and we both hope Nigel stands in the South Thanet constituency next year. He is a decent man and we are 100% behind him."
Ms Atkinson issued an apology after her comments were recorded.
She said: "I deeply regret the words I used and am incredibly sorry.
"It was poor judgement and naivety on my part rather than words spoken with any malice.
"I am devastated that I have caused hurt and apologise profusely to both Mr and Mrs Munday."
Mr and Mrs Munday had agreed to be filmed while Ms Atkinson met members of the public in Thanet.
The MEP was wearing a microphone and was aware she was being recorded, the BBC said.
A statement from UKIP said: "Janice has apologised for the words she used.
"UKIP in no way condones the use of language that may reflect prejudice or cause offence and we sincerely hope this matter can be resolved privately."
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