UK

Newsnight: Ukip's Former Commonwealth Spokesman, Mujeeb Bhutto, Was Leader Of Kidnapping Gang In Pakistan (VIDEO)

03/02/2014 23:16 GMT | Updated 03/02/2014 23:59 GMT

A Newsnight report has revealed that the man who served as UKIP's Commonwealth spokesman for more than a year is the former head of a kidnapping gang in Pakistan.

According to the BBC, Mujeeb ur Rehman Bhutto led a Karachi-based outfit that carried out a number of high-profile kidnappings in 2004, securing a ransom payment of £56,000 in Manchester. Bhutto was convicted of the offence in 2005 and sentenced to seven years by a UK court after admitting he was the "boss" of the gang.

Having been contacted by Newnight, Ukip said that Bhutto had resigned his party membership, adding: "When we recently became aware of possible issues relating to his past and raised the matter with him, he resigned his membership."

The 35-year-old had made regular appearances on national media as a representative or the party, and had even organised the visit of Nigel Farage to a Mosque in Leeds. Speaking to Newsnight, Bhutto said that hid admitted the charges against him in 2005 so not to be sent back o Pakistan, adding that the allegations against him were motivated by political rivalry.