Former Wimbledon UKIP Candidate Sparks Outrage On Twitter

Peter Bucklitsch attacked for Tweets over Syrian boy's death

Former Wimbledon UKIP Parliamentary candidate has caused controversey after he tweeted that the death of a Syrian boy on a Turkish beach was caused by his parents' greed.

Mr Bucklitsch (right) said on Twitter: "The little Syrian boy was well clothed & well fed. He died because his parents were greedy for the good life in Europe. Queue jumping costs".

He was responding to the tragic image of the body of Aylan Kurdi, aged three, which was washed up on a Turkish beach after the capsize of an overcrowded dinghy as refugees tried to cross to the Greek island of Kos.

After receiving a torrent of tweets in response, Mr Bucklitsch's Twitter account (@bucklitsch) appeared to have been deleted on Thursday evening (September 3).

Accountant Mr Bucklitsch, a former Lib Dem councillor, stood for UKIP in the May General Election. He received 2,476 votes, against winner Stephen Hammond's 25,225.

He joined UKIP in 2013 after leaving the Lib Dems over the issue of university tuition fees. Born in Nelson Hospital, brought up in Raynes Park and New Malden, he went to school in Wimbledon. Leaving school to work in the City, he followed a career that encompassed multi-user accounting systems and electronic record management.

Among the furious respondents was former footballer Stan Collymore who tweeted: "What a truly awful thing to say @bucklitsch. Let's hope your family never know adversity or war."

A UKIP spokeswoman later said an internal investigation was underway into the remarks. 

In a statement issued to the BBC, Mr Bucklitsch said: "I apologise for the evident distress this caused, and have removed it.

"It was an inelegant way of agreeing that the problems lie in the regions where conditions precipitate such a strong desire to reach a place where life can begin again.

"The image of the little boy lying with his head in the waves upset me, but to lash out at the parents who were trying to do their best was not, on reflection, the best answer."

He also sent the following Tweet, before apparently deleting his account: "I apologise unreservedly. I was upset and angered by the little boy lying in the waves, but lashing out at his parent was not right or fair."

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September 4, 2015

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Peter Bucklitsch

Peter Bucklitsch stands for UKIP in Wimbledon