Proceeds from former DJ Mike Read's UKIP songs not welcome, says Red Cross
The Red Cross has red carded UKIP over the proceeds from a controversial calypso record.
A song by former DJ Mike Read – a celebrity supporter of the right-wing party – was withdrawn for sale this week after complaints about its contents.
UKIP, fronted by Nigel Farage, says pressure from the “right-on media” forced the former Radio 1 star to back down.
The party claimed some of the proceeds would have gone to the Red Cross to help its fight against Ebola – but the charity insisted it would not have touched a penny, citing political impartiality and the song’s attack on asylum seekers.
Red Cross has a proud history of helping refugees and asylum seekers who are negatively referred to in the lyricsMike Read pictured at Jimmy Saville's funeral
The song, sung by Read in calypso style in a mock Caribbean accent, contains the lines: “the leaders committed a cardinal sin / open the borders let them all come in / illegal immigrants in every town / stand up and be counted Blair and Brown”.
UKIP supporters had started a campaign to get the download to number one, but Read withdrew it from sale, apologising for “unintentionally causing offence.”
A UKIP spokesman said: “This is Mike’s song and it is obviously his decision what to do with it.
“We thought it was just a bit of fun, as did thousands of people, evidenced by how well it had been selling.
“Were it not for the synthetic outrage, the song would have generated a lot of money for charity, as profits were to be split with the Red Cross for its Ebola Outreach programme.
“It’s a pity those so concerned with political correctness have trodden all over this.”
The Red Cross, however, was quick to distance itself from UKIP and the recording.
A spokesman said: “We will not be able to accept any money from the proceeds of this single.
“As a neutral organisation, we cannot benefit from something which overtly supports one political party.
“In addition, Red Cross has a proud history of helping refugees and asylum seekers who are negatively referred to in the lyrics.”
Make up your mind - Mike Read's Ukip Calypso