A UKIP candidate shockingly filmed threatening to shoot his Conservative rival in North East Hampshire has claimed the BBC "sensationalised the story".

In a Daily Mirror investigation, Robert Blay, a former Conservative Party member, told an undercover reporter he would "personally put a bullet" in Tory candidate Ranil Jayawardena.

He was suspended by the party but his name still appeared on ballot papers.

Speaking at Hart Leisure Centre in Hitches Lanes, Fleet, before the count on Thursday evening, Mr Blay told Get Hampshire: "It is unfortunate how it has been sensationalised by the BBC and I've apologised profusely to UKIP and I hope to get back into the fold of UKIP soon."

When asked if he regretted the remarks made in the video, UKIP candidate Robert Blay replied "no comment".

Mr Blay added he wasn't prepared to discuss the matter further while he was hoping to get back into the party, adding: "It's up to them."

Robert Blay outside the Hart Leisure Centre before the election count on Thursday

Mr Jayawardena - deputy leader of Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council - replaced current MP James Arbuthnot as the Tory candidate for North East Hampshire following an open primary held in November 2013.

Mr Jayawardena's father, Nalin, said he was "very proud" of his son.

At Thursday's election count Sir Gerald Howarth - Tory candidate for Aldershot - said he was "absolutely horrified".

"I've known Ranil for three years and he's an extremely charming, bright and personable guy who I think will make an excellent member of parliament," said Mr Howarth.

"I do not know what possessed Rob Blay, who I have met, to make those remarks.

"I'm afraid there are some people in that party who just do come out with some very unpleasant remarks."

Mr Blay, 55, told the Mirror reporter: "If this lad (Mr Jayawardena) turns up to be our prime minister, I will personally put a bullet in him.

"That’s how strong I feel about it. I won’t have this f***** as our prime minister. I absolutely loathe him.”

The outrageous remarks were made at a public meeting in Kent on Saturday (May 2) attended by UKIP leader Nigel Farage.

In the Mirror video, Mr Blay added: “His [Mr Jayawardena’s] family have only been here since the 70s. You are not British enough to be in our parliament.

“I’ve got 400 years of ancestry where I live. He hasn’t got that.

“I said to his dad about two months ago, 'when did you come to Britain?’. He said, 'in the 70s'.

“I said, ‘why did you come?’. He said, ‘things weren’t very good politically in Sri Lanka and I came here and I could train as an accountant’.

“So he’s come here and ponced off us hasn’t he, like all the east Europeans are? That’s what is happening - continually.”

Ranil Jayawardena and James Arbuthnot

A UKIP party spokesman described the comments as "abhorrent" and said Mr Blay was suspended immediately.

"Any comments of this sort have absolutely no place in British politics or public life, and the party would like to take this opportunity to apologise to Mr Jayawardena for any distress caused," added the spokesman.

North East Hampshire is one of Britain’s safest Tory seats, with Mr Arbuthnot polling a majority of more than 18,500 at the last general election. He is the hot favourite to become the area's next MP.

A Hampshire Constabulary spokesman said the force was reviewing the comments as part of "initial inquiries" but added that no-one had been arrested.

Liberal Democrat candidate for North East Hampshire Graham Cockarill described Mr Blay's remarks as "ridiculous".

"There is no excuse for that kind of comment. To me it is unacceptable," he said.

"It is up to UKIP whether they take him back, but they seem to have issues with some of their candidates. I can't see how he could be part of a national party. I would be surprised if they did take him back into the party."

Andrew Johnston, Green Party Candidate said: "I can't believe the guy has got thr courage to turn up at all. It is pretty disgusting he is here at all.

"Somebody had said to me before that he would make Ranil's ethnicity an issue and I said at the time that he wouldn't be stupid enough.

"I don't believe anyone in 2015 would make these remarks.

"I used to live in Hartley Wintney where he is from and now if you Google the town it just come up with Robert Blay.

"Now that's a shame for anybody who lives there."