Leeds: Ukip man denies anti-Muslim jibe

Craig Sweaton.

Craig Sweaton.

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A LEEDS election candidate for Ukip has resigned from his role as a school governor after he was accused of posting Islamophobic comments online.

It is alleged that Craig Sweaton, who is campaigning for a Leeds council seat in Middleton, shared a Facebook post which advocated burying bacon on sites where mosques were planned to be built.

The post – which has been reproduced on the Hope Not Hate campaign’s website – then quotes a Craig Sweaton commenting that “we can start with a slice of bacon for every 10 sq’ of Miggy [a derogatory term] ha ha!”.

The Leeds primary school where Mr Sweaton was a governor has now published a public letter to “completely distance” themselves from the comments.

Mr Sweaton has issued a lengthy statement of response to the YEP – but no apology. He denied sharing the provocative Facebook post but admitted making comments, which he said were just airing his concerns about “cultural identity”.

Mr Sweaton, who came second in the 2014 Leeds council elections in the same ward, told the YEP: “Firstly I deny sharing the post and Ukip are investigating.

“I do accept that I made the separate comment and stand by it.

“It was a part of a wider conversation about cultural identity in Britain and was asking why many young Muslims who were born in Britain appear to feel such a strong affinity with the country of their parents’ origin. I would welcome the chance to work with any of the communities involved in order to further community understanding and cohesion.”

He added that he had resigned from his school governor role because “my continued presence would be disruptive to the pupils and staff”.

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