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Ukip's Bird suspended pending probe

The UK Independence Party has announced that it has suspended its general secretary following allegations of impropriety.

In a statement, Ukip said Roger Bird had been suspended on December 7 pending a full investigation into the allegations relating to candidate selection.

A party spokesman declined to discuss the nature of the allegations, but said that they did not relate to a recent row which reportedly saw more than a dozen Ukip activists quit the party over leader Nigel Farage's handling of the candidate selection process.

In a statement, Ukip said: " Shortly after a claim came to light about the conduct of Mr Bird with regard to candidate selection, the UK Independence Party took action swiftly and decisively, including steps involving external Human Resources consultants, as well as following due process and the party's constitution to the letter."

A Ukip spokesperson commented: "Unfortunately, Ukip has had to suspend Mr Bird pending a full investigation into allegations made against him. The party has acted swiftly and decisively and will not tolerate impropriety of any kind amongst its staff."

According to his LinkedIn profile, Mr Bird had been Ukip general secretary since July 2014 and had previously been finance director at Astrum Education and Alpha Plus Group. He has also served as the party's chairman in the South-East.

A former Conservative councillor in Wandsworth, south London, Mr Bird quit the Tories in 2009 and switched to Ukip a year later. He was named last year as Ukip general election candidate in the Surrey constituency of Mole Valley.

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