JEREMY CORBYN took to the streets of Britain this week promising “real change” for the country if elected prime minister but it seems before the Labour leader can bring about any difference for voters he must first get his house in order.
In a cringe worthy start to his campaign this week, three of the party’s candidates were forced to quit during a 24-hour period. A further nine MP hopefuls are facing a backlash for either their comments or posts they had shared on social media. Here is a run-through of the list of the Labour candidates whose campaigns have either ended before getting off the ground or have been severely damaged by offensive comments or actions.
Gideon Bull pulled out of the race for Clacton in Essex after he referred to a Jewish councillor as ‘Shylock’ – a Jewish moneylender in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice.
Mr Bull claimed he didn’t have a clue what the term actually meant and denied he used it to refer to councillor Zena Brabazon.
Labour’s candidate for the Scottish constituency of Gordon, Kate Ramsden, stood down after a row over antisemitism.
She drew comparisons between Israel and an abused child who grows up to become an abusive adult.
Ms Ramsden said: “I have taken the decision to step down as Labour Party candidate for Gordon, following criticism of a blog written at the height of the bombardment of Gaza by the government of Israel.
“I can see why many Jewish people have been hurt by my words. That was never my intention and I apologise unreservedly.”
Frances Hoole, who is running for the Edinburgh South West seat, was forced to apologise after posting an offensive tweet aimed at her rival, Joanna Cherry of the SNP.
The slogan “Bang and the TERF is gone” was attached to the tweet, referring to trans-exclusionary radical feminist, widely considered an insulting term.
Ms Cherry said she had received a death threat and a “storm of misogynistic abuse” in the wake of the tweet.
Ms Hoole told the Edinburgh Evening News: “I am genuinely really sorry I posted it. I’m sorry about the violent content. It was silly, I posted it without looking very hard at it.”
Ms Hoole was dropped as a Labour candidates after the tweet.
Ian Byrne, who is hoping to be elected to the Liverpool West Derby seat, faced widespread criticism for after sexist comments about female politicians including Baroness Mone and Esther McVey.
But he has refused to step down and on Thursday attended a campaign event in Manchester where he stood closely behind Mr Corbyn as the socialist gave a speech.
In a statment, Mr Byrne said: “I am deeply sorry for the inappropriate and offensive language from the shop floor that I used several years ago on social media and would not use today.”
Labour faced calls for Kate Osborne to be deselected after it emerged she had shared an image showing a gun pointed to Theresa May’s head.
The picture was share by her on Facebook in the run up to the 2017 general election.
She said she was sorry for her actions and said misogynistic attacks suffered by her colleagues were a matter of “extreme concern” for her.
Laura McAlpine, who hopes to unseat Tory Robert Halfon in Harlow, has been accused of backing up her chief campaigner who claimed that some Israelis want to see “a Jewish final solution”.
According to Jewish News (JN), Brett Hawksbee made the comment in a blogpost in September 2018.
He claimed some people in Israel would welcome a “program in Gaza and the West Bank, a Jewish final solution to the Palestine problem.”
An email sent to Labour staffers which was seen by JN suggested Ms McAlpine was not happy about the working of a drafted apology.
The email said: “She (McAlpine) isn’t happy with the first line (of the apology) because she doesn’t want to be disloyal to someone who ‘organises so much for her and who she is on the phone with three times a day’.”
Yesterday, Ms McAlpine told the Daily Mail: “I did not and would not defend Brett Hawksbee’s remarks in this blog.
“Brett’s comparison between Israel and the Nazis was unacceptable and last year he made a full apology for making such a comparison.”
Sophie Wilson, a 23-year-old city councillor in Sheffield is running for the Rotherham seat.
Sammy Woodhouse, 34, a victim of a Rotherham grooming gang accused Ms Wilson of “publicly supporting women being exploited” over her campaign to keep a lap dancing club open.
Concerns had been raised that strippers were being sexually exploited at the Spearmint Rhino club in Sheffield.
Ms Wilson maintained her desire to see the seedy club remain open was in support of the rights of workers at the venue.
She said: I am proud of my record of defending workers’ rights. I support the rights of women working in sexual entertainment venues to unionise and organise within their workplaces. That does not imply any support for exploitative employers.”
The party’s Coventry South candidate, Zarah Sultana, was forced to issue an apology after old tweets she posted were dug up.
She had said she would “celebrate” the deaths of Tony Blair and Benjamin Netanyahu and voiced her support for the “violent resistance” by Palestinians.
Ms Sultana said: “I do not support violence and I should not have articulated my anger in the manner I did, for which I apologise.”
Jane Aitchison, who is running in Pudsy, West Yorkshire, made a slip up while defending Ms Sultana.
Ms Aitchison compared celebrating the death of Tony Blair to welcoming the death of Adolf Hitler.
She said: “I apologise for causing offence, but I said in the interview that I did not condone anyone celebrating the death of anyone, and I do not.”
Labour’s Ali Milani, who is hoping to kick Boris Johnson out of his Uxbridge and South Ruislip seat, supported a conspiracy theory claiming the US government was being the 9/11 terrorist attacks and also used the hashtag “#jew” as an insult in messages.
He apologised for the remarks and said he felt “deeply embarrassed” about his past comments.
Matt Uberoi who is running in the Chelsea and Fulham constituency was locked up for a £120,000 insider trading scam in 2009 with his father.
In statements, Mr Uberoi and the Labour Party said they had chosen to be “up front and honest” about his past and added that he had learned from his mistake.
Kate Linnegar liked a post entitled “How Israel lobby manufactured UK Labour Party’s antisemitism crisis” and another post referring to Israel as a “so-called country”.
The party’s North Swindon candidate said: “I sincerely apologise for having liked or shared these posts in the past and for the offence this has caused.”
The Labour Party said Ms Linnegar had “demonstrated her understanding of why the posts were wrong”.