A Ukip canvasser was last night suspended from the party pending an urgent investigation after posting sickening anti-Muslim comments and racist pictures on-line.

North Yorkshire pensioner Tony Nixon made jokes on Facebook about destroying mosques, setting Muslims on fire and running over people from Pakistan with a bus.

The profile of the Ukip member, who claims to have canvassed 800 homes in the Stokesley area in the run up to today's county council elections, reveals that he supports numerous right-wing groups, including local branches of the English Defence League (EDL).

The account features several offensive photographs including an image of President Obama and wife Michelle which had been doctored to make the couple look like monkeys and a photograph of pigs eating copies of the Koran.

In one post, Mr Nixon, of Great Broughton, near Stokesley, tells a friend that the EDL and Ukip are on the same side “in the fight against traitors to Britain”.

In another, he says: “Instead of turning Ground Zero into a mosque why not turn some mosques into ground zero?”

The Northern Echo last night reported the vile comments and photographs to North Yorkshire Police which said it would investigate.

UKIP said it was “shocked” to learn of Mr Nixon's views, which were not representative of the party.

A party spokesman added: “His membership has been suspended pending an urgent investigation. We do not tolerate members with any links to BNP, EDL or other extremist parties.

“We do not condone racist or any other inappropriate comments and regard them as  totally abhorrent and if anyone else is discovered acting in such an appalling way they will be thrown out of the party.”

In one on-line thread, Mr Nixon tells Ukip supporters that immigration was the number one topic among voters on the doorstep.

However, supporters urge him to keep his personal beliefs to himself when he begins talking about immigration and the “impending coming of a million or so Romanians and Bulgarians”.

One commenter says: “You're meant to be representing Ukip and Ukip's candidate - not your other beliefs.”

Another says: “Stop focussing on Muslims and focus on local issues for the local elections.

“You are just giving the Left ammunition to smear us.”

Mr Nixon's comments and photographs were last night condemned by Ged Grebby, chief executive of North-East-based Show Racism the Red Card group.

He said: “Ukip are meant to be a legitimate political party yet it seems some of their members are also supporters of far right organisations such as the English Defence League or even the British National Party.

“If parties like Ukip want to remain legitimate they simply can't have people like this canvassing on their behalf.”

Simon Cressy, from the anti-racism pressure group Hope Not hate, added: “The words and language used by Mr Nixon were disgusting and he should be investigated by the police.

“If Ukip wants to be viewed as a serious political party it has to rid itself of racists and bigots like this.”  The Ukip candidate for Stokesley is David Troughton. The Northern Echo was unable to contact him yesterday.

The Northern Echo contacted Mr Nixon. However, he said he was too busy to comment and asked for a message to be sent to him via Facebook.

Mr Nixon had not responded to the message last night.

On a visit to South Shields on Tuesday, Ukip's leader Nigel Farrage said the party's rapid growth meant some inappropriate people had slipped through the net.

Veteran Tory Ken Clarke sparked uproar last week when he labelled Ukip  "a collection of clowns" and said the party was against foreigners.

Ukip claimed Tory Central Office had been trawling its members' Facebook and Twitter pages looking for inappropriate material.

Nationally, the party is investigating six candidates over links to Right-Wing organisations.

  • A previous version of this story contained an allegation about another unrelated UKIP candidate which later turned out to be false and has now been removed.