Lib Dem candidate Kevin McNamara resigns after 'posting homophobic and racist tweets'

12 November 2019, 09:02

The Lib Dems' general election battle bus
The Lib Dems' general election battle bus. Picture: PA

By Megan White

A Liberal Democrat candidate has been forced to resign after he was accused of sending homophobic and racist tweets.

Kevin McNamara, who was standing in Thurrock, Essex, stepped down after the party opened disciplinary investigations into the messages.

He is alleged to have sent the tweets, containing slurs, on several occasions in 2009 and 2010.

He also made his account private before deleting it.

Mr McNamara said: "I am deeply sorry for the comments that I made that are currently being reported in the press.

“These words are deeply offensive and I apologise profusely to everybody that I have offended with these tweets.

"I would never want to undermine the voices of those communities with slurs or degradation and it's important that people who want to represent the public are held to the very highest standard.

“I am resigning as a candidate with immediate effect for the upcoming election.

"I apologise to all of those I have let down with my past conduct and will work hard to regain their trust.

Mr McNamara's resignation came as a former adviser to Boris Johnson faced calls to be removed as an election candidate after Labour accused him of displaying "disgusting racism" in an article written almost 17 years ago.

Anthony Browne, a Conservative candidate for South Cambridgeshire, made comments blaming immigrants for bringing germs and HIV to the UK and accused Muslims of having divided loyalties, according to The Guardian.

In an article on The Spectator website, dated January 2003, Mr Browne wrote: "It is not through letting in terrorists that the government's policy of mass migration - especially from the third world - will claim the most lives. It is through letting in too many germs."

Naz Shah, shadow women and equalities minister, said: "This is disgusting racism. It's shocking that someone with such despicable views has been selected to stand for the Conservative Party.

"Given his personal relationship with Anthony Browne, Boris Johnson should personally intervene and remove him as a candidate."

A Tory spokeswoman said: "These comments were made over 15 years ago, Anthony Browne has apologised for these comments and sincerely regrets them."