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Ukip chief Bird to quit post as he's cleared in sex probe

By Staff Reporter

Ukip general secretary Roger Bird has been cleared of impropriety following an inquiry into allegations that he sexually harassed a parliamentary candidate - but he will leave his post early by mutual consent.

Following the inquiry by an independent expert, the party said it accepted Mr Bird's statement that a relationship between him and Natasha Bolter was "consensual" and agreed that his actions did not compromise the integrity of its candidate selection process.

But it was mutually agreed that he will leave as general secretary because of the "unfortunate publicity" surrounding Ms Bolter's complaint.

A Ukip spokesman said: "Ukip has concluded its inquiry into allegations regarding its general secretary, Roger Bird. The inquiry was conducted by an independent HR consultancy to ensure that these serious allegations were fully, impartially and carefully investigated.

"As a result of the investigation, the party accepts Mr Bird's statement that the personal relationship between him and Ms Bolter was consensual and found no evidence to support the allegation of sexual harassment."

Mr Bird said: "I am very glad that the party has investigated and dismissed the allegations of sexual harassment and any impropriety regarding the selection of Ms Bolter as a candidate."

Mr Bird (41) was suspended from his party post on December 7 after Ms Bolter claimed that he had propositioned her after interviewing her as a prospective parliamentary candidate.

The 35-year-old teacher had defected from Labour in a blaze of publicity and was fighting a selection battle for South Basildon, but pulled out of hustings shortly before news of her allegations became public.

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