UKIP MEP Godfrey Bloom has said he sincerely regrets "any genuine offence which might have been caused" by his comments that the UK should not send aid to "bongo bongo land".

He was was filmed questioning the UK's overseas aid spending, claiming recipients spend it on luxuries such as Ray-Ban sunglasses and "apartments in Paris".

The MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber said he never intended to cause any offence and now understood that he must not use the phrase "bongo bongo land" in the future.

He said: "I used a term which I subsequently gather under certain circumstances could be interpreted as ­pejorative to individuals and possibly cause offence.

"Although quite clearly no such personal usage was intended, I understand from Ukip party chairman Steve Crowther and leader Nigel Farage that I must not use the terminology in the future, nor will I and sincerely regret any genuine offence which might have been caused.

"My aim, successful as it appears, was to demonstrate the immorality of sending £1 billion per month abroad when we are desperately short of money here.

"Ring-fenced overseas aid at nearly 70% of estimated GDP growth next year, some to buy arms - Mirage ­fighters in Argentina is just one example."

Earlier, Mr Bloom insisted he did not believe the phrase "bongo bongo land" was racist, suggesting it only offended those in the "Westminster bubble" and that his constituents in Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire would not take offence.

Mr Bloom has previously made controversial comments about women's rights, climate change and praised France's attack on the Rainbow Warrior.

Ukip chairman Steve Crowther admitted the term "could seem disparaging" but denied it was racist.

He said: "In my opinion it is a rather outdated description of foreign parts.

"To me it doesn't sound like anybody banging drums. It sounds like a ­shorthand way of saying places around the world which are in receipt of foreign aid."