Sunak urged to deselect Liz Truss as Conservative election candidate

Rishi Sunak has been called on to deselect his predecessor as prime minister, Liz Truss, over her reported appearance on the podcast and media platform Lotus Eaters. 

Labour MP Jess Phillips has written to the PM, describing Lotus Eaters as “far right” and citing the abuse she received from one of its presenters, Carl Benjamin.

In 2016, Benjamin hit out at Phillips after she discussed rape and death threats sent to women on the internet. “I wouldn’t even rape you”, he wrote on the social media platform then known as Twitter. 

Benjamin later doubled down on the comments after being selected as a UKIP candidate for the 2019 European parliament elections, defending the “joke” and refusing to “apologise for my crimes against political correctness”.

***Politics.co.uk is the UK’s leading digital-only political website, providing comprehensive coverage of the general election. Subscribe to our daily newsletter here for all the latest election news and analysis.***

In a video posted on YouTube at the time, Benjamin said: “There’s been an awful lot of talk about whether I would or wouldn’t rape Jess Phillips. I’ve been in a lot of trouble for my hardline stance of not even raping her.

“I suppose with enough pressure I might cave. But let’s be honest nobody’s got that much beer.”

Former PM Liz Truss has been billed as appearing on an episode of Lotus Eaters show Tomlinson Talks later today.

In March, one of Lotus Eater’s contributors Benjamin Dade was dropped from running as a Reform UK candidate after campaign group HOPE not hate revealed he published a “policy roadmap” for The Mallard website. 

The roadmap called for “millions of foreigners and their dependents” to be expelled from the country, and for Britain to “rid itself of the foreign plague we have been diseased with.”

Writing to the prime minister on Wednesday morning, Phillips raised concerns that Truss is set be interviewed on Lotus Eaters, a platform she described as “hateful” and “far right”.

Phillips said that Benjamin “has despicable views about violence against women” and that the impact men like him have on politics “cannot be understated”.

Calling for Liz Truss’ deselection as a Conservative election candidate, Phillips added: “You [Rishi Sunak] have a responsibility as leader of your Party to uphold high standards among your MPs and candidates, and you have a responsibility as Prime Minister to foster a safe environment for MPs particularly female MPs who face ever-increasing rates of abuse and threat”.

She continued: “It is clear that anyone willing to appear on this hateful platform is not suitable to be a candidate for any political party. Even Reform UK deselected one of its candidates after his harmful views and work as a content creator for Lotus Eaters was exposed.

“If you have any decency, you will deselect Liz Truss as Conservative candidate for South West Norfolk. Anything less than this will show how weak you are and how far the Conservative Party has sunk”. 

Politics.co.uk is the UK’s leading digital-only political website, providing comprehensive coverage of the election. Subscribe to our daily newsletter here for all the latest election news and analysis.



Source link