UKIP yesterday blamed “synthetic outrage” for DJ Mike Read’s decision to withdraw his calypso song from sale – accusing “right-on” critics of depriving a charity of cash to help the fight against Ebola.
A spokesman for Ukip said it regretted that Read had felt obliged to ask his record company to withdraw it from sale and said it would donate its share of the proceeds so far to the Red Cross to help make up for income the charity would miss from future sales.
“This is Mike’s song and it is obviously his decision what to do with it,” a party spokeswoman said.
“We do think it is a shame that he has been treated so harshly by many in the ‘right-on’ media, but we respect his decision.
“We thought it was just a bit of fun, as did thousands of people, evidenced by how well it has 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 their Ebola Outreach programme.
“It’s a pity those so concerned with political correctness have trodden all over this.”
Read, a former BBC Radio 1 DJ, yesterday apologised for “unintentionally causing offence” with his Ukip Calypso, sung with a mock Caribbean accent.
The song, which praises the anti-EU party and its leader Nigel Farage, includes the lyrics: “With the EU we must be on our mettle, want to change our lawnmowers and our kettles.”
Read said: “I’m so sorry that the song unintentionally caused offence. That was never my intention and I apologise unreservedly if anyone has taken offence.
“I’ve asked the record company to withdraw the single immediately.”
The song, which includes the line “when we take charge and the new prime minister is Farage”, also criticises the Prime Minister.
Read, a former Conservative supporter, warns against trusting David Cameron, singing: “The British people have been let down, that’s why Ukip is making ground. From Crewe to Cleethorpes, from Hull to Hendon, they don’t believe Cameron’s referendum.”
Read, who hosts an afternoon show on BBC Berkshire, spent more than a decade at Radio 1.
He hit the headlines in 1984 when he refused to play the Frankie Goes To Hollywood single Relax because he objected to its lyrics.
Read has also turned his hand to musicals, but his show about the life of writer Oscar Wilde closed after one night following dreadful reviews and poor ticket sales.
The Ukip Calypso track was promoted by Mr Farage when it was released, with the politician urging his followers to help get it to number one and including a link to buy the song on Amazon.
Not all the reviewers were complimentary, with one Amazon customer writing: “My God, the musical equivalent of the Ebola virus. Anyway, isn’t calypso music a bit foreign for Ukip?”
Another said: “Pretty sick with faux Jamaican accent.”
The track did have some fans, with one listener saying: “Brilliant and so true! Love Ukip.”