Recipient charity found for Ukip Calypso money, but the party won't name it

Money raised from the sale of the song, by DJ Mike Read, was originally offered to the British Red Cross, but the charity turned it down

BRC refused money raised from this song
BRC refused money raised from this song

The UK Independence Party will not reveal the name of the charity to which it donated money raised by the song Ukip Calypso after the British Red Cross refused to accept the donation.

In October, the radio DJ and presenter Mike Read released the song for download at a cost of 79p on iTunes and Amazon. The track includes lyrics such as "Our 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", sung by the Lancashire-born Read in a mock Caribbean accent.

Read intended to donate proceeds from the song to the BRC to help the fight against the Ebola outbreak, but within days of its release he asked his record company to withdraw the song from sale, saying he was "absolutely mortified" at suggestions it had caused offence.

The same week, the BRC said it would not accept the money. In a series of tweets, it said: "As a neutral organisation, we cannot benefit from something that overtly supports one political party. In addition, the Red Cross has a proud history of helping refugees and asylum seekers who are negatively referred to in the lyrics."

Steve Crowther, the chair of Ukip, said at the time: "We are staggered by their decision. We regret that the British Red Cross think it's their place to put politics over saving people’s lives. We will seek to donate all the money to another charity working to help tackle the tragic Ebola crisis in west Africa."

A spokesman for Ukip said that the party had found a charity willing to take the money, but it would not name it. "If we do, people are going to put that charity under a whole lot of pressure when actually it’s going to a good cause," the spokesman said.

He said he could not confirm how much money had been raised by the single, nor whether the recipient Ukip had chosen was involved in combating Ebola. "We’ve handed over the money and we’re going to leave it at that," he said.

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