Tory MPs decline to retract ‘fake news’ Labour race smear in spite of evidence

As the SKWAWKBOX covered yesterday, Tory ‘eugenics’ MP Ben Bradley spread a far-right publication’s smear against the Labour Party, claiming that the party was “charging white people more for tickets” for its East Midlands conference.

The truth of the matter is that ‘BAME Labour’ is a ‘socialist society’ with its own members and membership fees – and the society is subsidising tickets for its members, having obtained diversity funding for the purpose – a practice in place for some years for the event.

In other words, black or minority ethnic attendees who haven’t paid extra for membership of the BAME Labour society will pay the same as anyone else.

Any other affiliated socialist society – full list here, including such groups as the Jewish Labour Movement, LGBT LabourChinese Labour, Socialist Health Association, Disability Labour and many more – is of course free to do the same if it chooses.

Challenged by social media users for propagating fake news, Mr Bradley again took to Twitter to repeat his claim, with what he alleged was evidence in the form of a screenshot of the East Midlands Labour site:

bb em.png

The Tories, unsurprisingly, were keen to push this line for political gain. Tory MP Andrew Bridgen told the Daily Mail:

This is racism. In effect, Labour is levying a tax on the basis of the colour of a person’s skin. It shows their contempt for the white working class.

Front-bencher James Cleverly. who recently defended Bradley over his ‘eugenics’ comments, was equally eager:

Discriminating against people based on the colour of their skin is totally wrong and Mr Corbyn must end this practice now.

The SKWAWKBOX contacted all three Tory MPs to ensure they were aware of the real facts and to invite them to retract or amend their contacts.

Bridgen was unapologetic:

It is racist, divisive and I believe it’s illegal as do a number of Labour MPs I have discussed this matter with.

Mr Bridgen insisted that his “number of Labour MPs” were “not the usual suspects” – but of course, this doesn’t preclude them having a poor grasp of the facts of the matter.

Neither Cleverly nor Bradley chose to respond, leaving their grossly inaccurate and potentially inciteful comments as the most current record of their position.

A spokesperson for East Midlands Labour told the SKWAWKBOX:

The Labour Party is taking advice on other ways we can increase the representation of BAME members at East Midlands Regional Conference in February. The intention behind the BAME pass was to increase the representation of under-represented groups which remains a priority for the party.

Understandably, in view of the way in which the issue has been abused to attack the party, the offer has now been removed from the East Midlands Labour site.

So in their eagerness to attack Labour, unsurprising though it is in a period of chaos and adverse publicity for the government, the Tories have succeeded in making it harder for members of BAME Labour to access a legitimate benefit of their membership – and have aligned themselves with the BNP and other extreme-right groups to achieve it.

There is also a legitimate question whether their behaviour online and in the media constitutes harassment or an incitement to commit hate-crime. The government’s page on hate-crime says that hate-crimes are,

Crimes committed against someone because of their disability, gender-identity, race, religion or belief, or sexual orientation are hate crimes and should be reported to the police.

Hate crimes can include:

  • threatening behaviour
  • assault
  • robbery
  • damage to property
  • inciting others to commit hate crimes
  • harassment

Initial Tory Party comments on the matter might be excused as made in ignorance of the facts – although the source of the original claims ought to be a sufficiently large ‘red flag’ to cause serious caution in treating them as accurate.

Once the facts had been made clear, a failure to put the record straight, let alone apologise is a matter of grave concern – especially when the Tories are attempting to use ‘fake news’ claims to close down inconvenient independent media and right-wing commentators are admitting on national television that reports don’t have to be ‘wholly accurate’ to damage Labour.

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  1. Left a tweet on his Twitter page pointing out he’s wrong and wishing him luck next time

  2. Ticket prices are the same for everyone and an allocation of the tickets have been subsidised.

    I fail to see what is so difficult to understand about that.

    It is simply surreal that Tory MPs are falsely accusing others of racism whilst they are making actual racist attacks on BAME members.

    This is the same type of thing as the racist supporters of apartheid Israel who accuse those who challenge that apartheid state of being racists.

  3. Reported on sky newspaper review this morning. It was like frenzied sharks thinking they have tasted blood but had in fact it was rotten flesh of the conservative press.

    1. I complained with this to Sky news

      This is a COMPLAINT about deliberate bias.
      Your format, your projection of the news is deliberately protecting the centre/right right wing view, why?
      Your stories are nothing more than a mirror of the right wing tabloids, so I was being generous by adding the centre.
      Now I except there is going to be bias but not on the scale it is.
      Your format daily has paper reviews, right wing papers sometimes centre right Guardian why. (Deliberate bias)
      In previous complaints you claimed to adhere to strict impartiality guidelines, I believe this not to be the case.
      So can you tell me why in your tabloid reviews, there’s never anything from the new left wing media as a balance. There are some of these with IMPRESS regulation not like the self regulating IPSO.

      Do you only support IPSO?

      Could you give reasons why your not supporting IMPRESS regulation?

      Also a balanced approach to guests reviewing would be more impartial, because 98% of guests at the moment are from the centre/right right wing factions.
      I believe as a Sky paying customer, Sky should be representational and clearly this is not the case.
      I had the usual automated response saying it would be passed on to the news team, without reply. So I sent complaint to all viewer relations asking for a response, to which they replied with just a complaint number nothing else. I have sent my complaint to Ofcom.

      Has anyone complained before about the tv news media not recognising IMPRESS to promote the right wing agenda.

      1. I concur 100%… evil, dire, greedy, unsympathetic
        bunch of bloodsucking patasitic b****-*s

  4. I’ve been on Ben Bradley’s Facebook page today, and posted the link to your article, “The truth about the ‘more expensive for white people’ smear” a number of times, especially in reply to the deluded Tory supporters who agree with him. Bradley said words to the effect that he believes it’s true as he read it in the Daily Mail. Hahahaha! No doubt he believes in the tooth fairy, and Father Christmas, and little gnomes and elves, too 🙂 🙂 🙂

  5. Cleverly, you would think you of all people would check the facts before you flap your lips protecting a fellow Tory!
    Particularly after all the the language he’s used!
    Which he should have been suspended for!
    I forget, your crowd only shout for blood when a Labour MP (MAY) have said something!
    TIT F TAT!

  6. The Tory’s Dirty Tricks Department is comprised of highly devious characters who can turn something completely innocent and legitimate and unnewsworthy into something designed to manipulate millions of peoples’ emotions, courtesy of their MSM buddies Distorting reality is second nature to them.

    Fascists to the core of their being each and every one of them (and that is not an insult, it is just a fact).

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