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UK Labour Party ditches candidate for sharing RT content in 2018

The shadow chancellor says a party member was kicked out for “not sharing our values”

The UK Labour Party has suspended one of its parliamentary candidates just two weeks before the general election, after senior members were made aware of his apparent sharing of RT content, six years ago, on his social media.

Andy Brown is campaigning to represent the Aberdeenshire North and Moray East constituency in northeast Scotland. The party’s decision to remove him was reported on Tuesday by The Press and Journal, a local newspaper, and has since become a national news story.

The posts that got Brown in trouble relate to the 2018 Salisbury poisoning case, which the British government claimed to be a Russian assassination attempt on Sergey Skripal, a defector spy. The politician reportedly shared a link to an RT article, which questioned London’s narrative, as well as a social media post suggesting that then-prime minister Theresa May was hiding vital information about the incident.

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Brown has claimed in an interview with the BBC that he did not share the posts, and that his account “may have been corrupted at some point.” He rejected the suggestion that he may have forgotten sharing them.

Labour Party bosses were also “spooked” by another post apparently shared by Brown, which questioned claims that anti-Semitism was widespread in the Labour Party, the Scottish newspaper said. The allegation was instrumental in the ouster of Jeremy Corbyn, a vocal pro-Palestinian figure, as Labour party leader. His whip in parliament was later removed by his successor, Keir Starmer, meaning effective expulsion from the party.

Commenting on the Andy Brown case, Labour’s shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves told Sky News on Wednesday: “I hadn’t heard of this guy until this morning, and I’m very, very pleased that I will hopefully not have to hear of him again because he’s been suspended as a Labour candidate.” She added that unlike Corbyn, Starmer takes “swift action when people misbehave”.

“People who do not share our values in the changed Labour Party get kicked out,” Reeves stressed.

READ MORE: EU ban on RT and Sputnik has failed – media

Although he has been deselected, Brown can still stand as a candidate for the election on July 4. Paper ballots will still carry his original description and a Labour logo, according to the British press. If elected, he will be an independent MP – not unlike Corbyn, who is running to represent the constituency of Islington North.

The UK banned RT from broadcasting in March 2022, after the Ukraine conflict escalated into open hostilities.

June 20, 2024 at 05:04PM

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