Ukip candidate Nigel Farage has been pulled from the mangled wreckage of a plane with only minor injuries after an airborne stunt came crashing to earth.

The MEP, who is also standing in the General Election for Buckingham, escaped from the crushed cockpit with non life-threatening head injuries.

The light aircraft was towing a banner bearing the slogan "Vote for your country - Vote Ukip" when it came down with the former party leader and a pilot inside.

Mr Farage was taken from Hinton-in-the-Hedges airfield in Northamptonshire to Horton General Hospital in Banbury, Oxfordshire. He was later transferred to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford where he was being treated, missing his constituency count.

The plane crashed just after 8am, more seriously injuring the pilot Justin Adams, who managed to use his mobile phone to call emergency services. He was airlifted to Walsgrave Hospital in Coventry. The crash was being investigated by Northamptonshire Police.

A Ukip spokesman said: "Nigel's main concern when he was in the ambulance afterwards was for the welfare of the pilot, who was trapped in the wreckage.

"The plane was on its roof. They were hung upside down. But throughout the whole thing both the pilot and Nigel were talking, conscious and breathing."

The spokesman, who was at the airfield and witnessed the accident, described it as a "shock" and said both men were lucky to be alive. He said: "The main thing today is the survival of two men. It's not about political points."

Detective Chief Inspector Martin Kinchin, of Northamptonshire Police, surveying the mangled metal, said: "Looking at the wreckage behind me, I think you can make your own judgment as to how lucky they were. The people inside the plane were lucky to come out with not very serious injuries."

Mr Farage's constituency rival, Commons Speaker John Bercow, said: "I was concerned to learn of this morning's crash. I wish Nigel Farage and his pilot a full and speedy recovery."