UKIP'S North Swindon candidate has defended his decision to launch a political Twitter tirade as emergency services were still responding to last night's terrorist attack.

Steve Halden used the social media platform to tweet and retweet no fewer than 77 times between the beginning of the incident and the early hours of the morning.

Drawing direct connections between the attack and the General Election on Thursday, he urged voters to "think about London Bridge" before they vote. 

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Mr Halden shared tweets from controversial right wing figures including Katie Hopkins who was sacked from broadcaster LBC last week after she called for a "final solution" - a term associated with the Holocaust - in the wake of the Manchester bombing.

He also appeared to endorse tweets drawing a link between "mass Muslim immigration" and the building of "over 1,700 mosques in Britain" with the London attacks. In doing so he asked "who will vote for zero net migration?"

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Mr Halden's tweets have continued in the same vain today.

Retweeting a claim that the Government's emergency committee COBRA was designed to "appease the snake of Islam" he said: "By general consensus the name of COBRA is to be changed. The organisation will in future be known as SLOW WORM."

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Invoking the memory of the youngest victim of the Manchester bombing, he tweeted: "Remember the beautiful Saffie-Rose Roussos before you vote on 8th June."

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While the Twitter handle Mr Halden uses displays the name 'DavidHadley1973' - he has confirmed to the Adver that it is his account.

When challenged on his tweets, he said: "The terrorist attack in London was a disaster waiting to happen.

"This follows quickly behind the bombing disaster in Manchester. Theresa May has cut the police force by 20,000.

"Britain is no longer a safe place to live. This General Election is now, all about staying alive.

"I have read my Tweets from 3rd June and none mentioned Muslims or Islam.

"In none of my Tweets did I mention anything about building mosques in London.

"My only retweet that mentioned Muslims was a quote from the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.

"To the best of my knowledge I was only taking about terrorism and at no time did I mention Muslims or Islam.

"If I have made a mistake on that it will be removed straight away.

"UKIP will be continuing to campaign in this General Election. To stop campaigning would be to give in to terrorism.

"The aim of the terrorist attack in London was to halt the General Election campaign."