UKIP MEP candidate Amjad Bashir has challenged Michael Heseltine to an open public debate on why he thinks UKIP are racist and tells media it’s time to ‘stop this disgusting slur of racism’.
Michael Heseltine told the BBC ahead of David Cameron’s speech that ‘of course it’s racist… nobody doubts that,’ about UKIP.
Pakistani born Bashir, who is standing as an MEP for UKIP in Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire, has now laid down the gauntlet and warned the media to stop.
“I’m sick to the back teeth now. The media keep repeating this appalling accusation, thoughtlessly, without any grounding, without any just cause or reason and frankly it’s abhorrent.
“Racism is a very real and deeply serious issue. It is not a word, a plaything, you can use to throw in whatever direction you fancy to undermine people, devaluing what is actually a crucially serious issue that must be treated with the utmost gravity.
“The general public are waking up to how not only ridiculous but frankly how deeply unpleasant this slur is. This word is debasing proper debate on key issues but also demonstrating how flippant the media and the political class really are about the existence of real racism. It’s an absolutely vile remark to make about anyone and should not be tolerated.
“Michael Heseltine has gone on TV and told the national broadcaster that UKIP is intrinsically racist. That is a very, very serious comment indeed. Well he can come back and justify on national TV these baseless and repugnant remarks. I challenge him directly. He is an ignorant, out of touch dinosaur and quite frankly horrendously flippant by throwing about the word to suit his party’s agenda. I hate to say it but the media is no better. They are behaving like ignorant and wilfully spiteful children in a playground. But this isn’t child’s play. It’s an extremely serious accusation and an extremely serious issue. It’s about time the media realised it was time to stop this disgusting slur of racism.”
Image: By Financial Times (Lord Heseltine) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons