A couple who are members of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) have lost their three foster children, allegedly because of their political leanings.

The unidentified couple told the Daily Telegraph that they had been "stigmatised and slandered" by their treatment by social workers.

The couple, who had been fostering a baby girl, an older girl and a baby boy for nearly seven years, fear that they may not be allowed to foster again.

The wife said: "I was dumbfounded. Then my question to both of them was, 'What has UKIP got to do with having the children removed?'

"Then one of them said, 'Well, UKIP have got racist policies.' The implication was that we were racist. [The social worker] said UKIP does not like European people and wants them all out of the country to be returned to their own countries."

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council said that as the children are "not indigenous white British," it raised concerns since UKIP supports Britain's withdrawal from the European Union and tighter immigration controls.

The Labour-backed council stood by its decision, infuriating UKIP further.

"Also the fact of the matter is I have to look at the children's cultural and ethnic needs. The children have been in care proceedings before and the judge had previously criticised us for not looking after the children's cultural and ethnic needs, and we have had to really take that into consideration with the placement that they were in," Joyce Thacker, the strategic director of children and young people's services at the Council told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

The opposition Labour Party has also called for an immediate probe into the incident, but UKIP remains angry.

UKIP leader Nigel Farage deemed the situation "appalling" and "disgraceful", adding that he is "very upset and very angry, particularly for the couple involved, who have been fostering for many years and are very decent people, and the awful shock to them of having these children removed, not to mention the upset to the children themselves".