#1Aug 7th, 2013
Godfrey Bloom is the Member of the European Parliament for Yorkshire and the Humber
A UK Independence Party politician has said he "sincerely regrets" causing any offence when he referred to countries receiving government aid as "Bongo Bongo Land".
Godfrey Bloom, the MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber, who was recorded using the phrase, said he had "subsequently" realised it could be interpreted as "pejorative".
Earlier he stood by the remarks, saying they had highlighted the aid issue.
UKIP leader Nigel Farage said he was "pleased" Mr Bloom had "apologised".
In footage obtained by the Guardian, recorded last month at a meeting in Wordsley, West Midlands, Mr Bloom said: "How we can possibly be giving £1bn a month, when we're in this sort of debt, to Bongo Bongo Land is completely beyond me."
Some of the money had gone on buying "Ray-Ban sunglasses, apartments in Paris, Ferraris and all the rest of it", he added.
When initially questioned over his comments, Mr Bloom told BBC News it would be "absurd" and "ridiculous" to label them racist.
He said Bongo Bongo Land was "a figment of people's imagination. It's like Ruritania or the Third World."
He added: "It's sad how anybody can be offended by a reference to a country that doesn't exist."
Mr Bloom also said: "If I've offended anybody in Bongo Bongo Land I will write to their ambassador at the Court of St James."
However, UKIP chairman Mr Crowther told Sky News: "In my opinion it [Bongo Bongo Land] is a rather outdated description of foreign parts.
"To me it doesn't sound like anybody banging drums. It sounds like a shorthand way of saying places around the world which are in receipt of foreign aid.
"It's not in itself the right word to use and it could seem disparaging to people who come from foreign countries and that's why I've asked him not to do it again."
There has been outrage by some in Britain that, despite the recent recession, Britain's aid handouts to poor countries is INCREASING, whilst the other 23 of the 24 richest nations in the world are cutting their aid budgets, including the US, Germany and France.
Outrage as Britain's foreign aid bill goes UP as other countries make cuts | UK | News | Daily Express