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Labour candidate Ian Byrne shared abusive comments about female politicians
8 November 2019, 07:29 | Updated: 8 November 2019, 09:43
A Labour Parliamentary candidate made a number of foul-mouthed social media posts against female politicians, LBC can exclusively reveal.
Ian Byrne, who is running in the safe-seat of Liverpool West Derby, shared a message about Baroness Michelle Mone, the founder of underwear brand Ultimo, which called to “hit the c*** where it hurts.”
The post, shared in 2015 on Facebook, then received comments calling for violence against Baroness Mone, and accused her of betraying her working-class roots.
LBC has uncovered a number of other messages from Ian Byrne’s Facebook account, which has since been deleted.
Commenting on a post suggesting Ms McVey was at risk of losing her seat, Byrne called her a “ “b*****d… and soon to be gone”.
But it was not only female politicians who were subjected to his comments.
In 2014, Byrne called Prince William a “horse faced t**t” on the social media site.
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 Liverpool 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 jokes 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.”
Byrne’s Facebook account has since been deleted.
A statement from Mr Byrne today read: "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.
"I also shared a meme about a Conservative peer who voted to take away tax credits from the poorest and most vulnerable people. The person who originally posted the meme had used an unacceptable and misogynist language to describe her. This was not my language and I sincerely apologise.
"I'm a very different person now and I'm grateful that the labour and trade union movement has enabled me and so many other working class people to represent and fight for our communities. Through setting up Fans Supporting Foodbanks, I've been working to overcome divisions and bring our Liverpool community together and if I'm elected that's what I will continue to do, transforming our communities in the interests of the many, not the elite few."
Baroness Mone told LBC: "I’m not going to comment on the specifics of Ian Byrne’s social media activity, but I will say politicians on all sides of the aisle need to raise the tone of debate; the recent increase in this sort of vitriol will only further divide us at a time when we desperately need to come together."
The news comes a day after a Conservative party candidate stood down after his "ill-judged comments" during a radio discussion about a rape case.
Former BBC Radio Norfolk presenter Nick Conrad was selected on Wednesday to stand for Broadland despite the controversy over his comments in 2014 saying women should "keep your knickers on".
But following heavy criticism of his selection, he said on Thursday he would be standing aside as the media attention was becoming a "distraction".