A UKIP parliamentary candidate who said “Jihadi John” should have killed himself has been referred to the party’s national executive committee.
Richard Hilton tweeted: “Jihadi John ‘contemplated suicide’. It’s a shame he didn’t. Don’t understand media attempts to blame MI5 for his evil”.
UKIP says neither the party nor Mr Hilton encourages suicide.
As soon as Mr Hilton realised his tweet might be misconstrued he took it down, a party spokesman added.
The party’s national executive committee could opt to take disciplinary action against Mr Hilton, who is a prospective parliamentary candidate for Mitcham and Morden, in South London.
In a statement, Mr Hilton said he was not advocating suicide but he said the “world would be a better place” without “Jihadi John”.
“I am gay and Islamic State are throwing gay people off roofs before stoning their bodies, so I am not going to apologise for wishing that Jihadi John and the murderous Islamic State were not around,” he said.
“Jihadi John” has been identified as Mohammed Emwazi, a Kuwaiti-born British man from west London.
According to a newspaper report, Emwazi said he felt like a “dead man walking” after being contacted by UK security services, and had considered suicide so he could “get away”.
He made the claims in 2010 in email exchanges with a Mail on Sunday journalist, the paper says.
In recent months, he has been seen in several Islamic State videos where Western hostages have been beheaded.