As the SKWAWKBOX reported this morning, Labour parliamentary candidate Trevor Merralls was being investigated over allegations that he was behind a Twitter account that made racist comments. The account has now been deleted.
Bryn Phillips, a supporter of Mr Merralls, has tweeted a remarkable 52-second video in which he quits the party, claims that the allegations are a stitch-up and reveals both that Mr Merralls’ Labour candidacy has already been suspended by the party – and that he plans to stand as an independent for the Old Bexley and Sidcup seat:
In case he decides to delete the tweet, here’s the video:
It’s an impassioned defence, but last year Mr Phillips published a tweet that made plain that, as far as he was concerned, the offending @wellingblueboy account was Mr Merralls:
Mr Phillips is of course 100% right that Mr Merralls is innocent until proven guilty.
But he’s 100% wrong that Labour have acted prematurely in suspending Merralls’ candidacy – with only just over a month to go until the General Election, what else could they do but seek another candidate? Labour have acted with commendable and understandable speed.
Labour’s press office has been contacted for comment.
Merralls’ decision – if confirmed – to stand as an independent against Labour will, according to the party’s rules, result in his immediate and automatic expulsion, so he may have done Labour a favour. But by risking the splitting of the Labour vote in the seat and allowing a Tory candidate to benefit, it must also raise doubts about his motivation and his commitment to his constituents wellbeing.
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