Labour candidate who made sexist comments about female politicians refuses to step down
12 November 2019, 18:30
A Labour Parliamentary candidate who made a number of foul-mouthed comments about female politicians will not step down, it has been confirmed.
Last week LBC exclusively revealed that Ian Byrne, who is standing in the Labour safe-seat of Liverpool West Derby, had shared a Facebook post in 2015 about Baroness Mone calling for someone to "hit the c**t where it hurts".
The post then received comments calling for violence against Baroness Mone, who founded underwear brand Ultimo, and accused her of betraying her working-class roots.
Other messages uncovered by LBC revealed he called Esther McVey a "b*****d", and called Prince William a "horse faced t**t."
But Byrne will not be stepping down, and sources have said Labour's National Executive Committee have voted "unanimously" to keep him as the candidate for the area.
Byrne was only selected to run last month for the Labour safe-seat, in which former MP Stephen Twigg had a majority of almost 33,000 in the 2017 election.
He won the candidacy race by only two votes with his nomination receiving the backing of Jeremy Corbyn allies John McDonnell, Laura Pidcock and the local Momentum campaign group.
The selection result announcement saw chaotic scenes and demands for a recount.
Byrne's history of offensive comments had already been made public prior to his selection.
In September the Mail on Sunday reported that Byrne wrote “it can only be a matter of time before Boris Johnson’s mum comes forward and tells us that she was raped by Jimmy Saville in 1963.”
Byrne apologised for the rape slur against Mr Johnson’s mother, the artist Charlotte Johnson Wahl.
The Liverpool Councillor added that he was “mortified by these posts and deeply and sincerely sorry for the hurt and offence they cause".
He was also forced to apologise for making a joke about the Paralympic Games looking like “a night out in Salford” and for making a homophobic slur.
Those messages were made in 2012 and 2013, and Byrne defended himself in the Liverpool Echo, telling journalists that the posts were made before he was politically aware.
"Seven years ago I was working in a printing shop and at the start of my political journey,” he said.
"It is through political education and becoming active in the Labour Party that I’ve learnt about struggles for disabled rights and LGBT+ rights, and have strived to be an ally in those struggles.”