Red Cross reject donation from Mike Read’s ‘UKIP Calypso’

Party spokesperson blames 'synthetic outrage' for withdrawal of single

Charity British Red Cross has said it will refuse to accept proceeds from sales of Mike Read’s ‘UKIP Calypso’, released under the name The Independents.

The former BBC Radio 1 DJ released the track on Monday (October 20). Sung in a mock Caribbean accent, it sees him criticising UK government and society, with lyrics including: “The leaders committed a cardinal sin/Open the borders let them all in/ Illegal immigrants in every town/Stand up and be counted Blair and Brown.”

The track was made available for 79p on Amazon, and UKIP said it would split profits with the Red Cross for its Ebola Outreach programme. Having previously defended the song against accusations of racism, Read yesterday requested that his label, Angel Air, withdraw the song.

A spokesperson for the Red Cross told The Daily Mail: “We will not be able to accept any money from the proceeds of this single. As a neutral organisation, we cannot benefit from something which 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.”

In a statement, UKIP chairman Steve Crowther said the party is “staggered by the decision”.

He wrote: “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.”

Earlier, the party issued a statement on Read’s decision to withdraw the single, saying it was a “shame that he had been treated so harshly by many in the ‘right on’ media”.

“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… It’s a pity those so concerned with political correctness have trodden all over this.”

The song landed at Number 21 in this week’s midweek chart.