Tory candidate quits after writing that Libyan dictator Colonel Gaddafi 'should have fled to Bradford' - The Libyan Report

Tory candidate quits after writing that Libyan dictator Colonel Gaddafi 'should have fled to Bradford'

Tory candidate quits after writing that Libyan dictator Colonel Gaddafi 'should have fled to Bradford'

In unearthed social media posts, the Conservative candidate referred to the capital as 'Londoninstan'

By Nick Duffy Sunday, 10th November 2019, 12:33 pm Updated Sunday, 10th November 2019, 12:34 pm

Antony Calvert, the Conservative candidate in Wakefield, has quit (Twitter)

A Conservative Parliamentary candidate has quit, after historical social media posts were branded racist by his Labour opponent.

Antony Calvert, the party's candidate in Wakefield, insisted "there is not a racist bone in my body" after TalkRadio uncovered posts in which he referred to England's capital as "Londonistan", a derogatory term used by the far-right and Donald Trump.

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In another Facebook message from 2011, Mr Calvert quipped that he was "sure he saw Col Gaddaffi on the tube this morning."

He added that the Libyan dictator "should surely have fled to Bradford" if he wants to "wander the streets unrecognised."

In other messages, Mr Calvert complained about Labour politicians bringing up "utterly irrelevant feminist 'issues'."

He also commented on the appearance of Labour's Wakefield incumbent Mary Creagh, remarking that she looked "shocking" during a TV interview, before adding: "Obviously the BBC make up dept don’t work on Sunday.”

No place for racism

Mr Calvert said that the comments, which date from 2010 to 2014, were from "10 years ago."

Labour's Mary Creagh hit out at the comments (Photo: LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)

However, he was engaged in politics at the time of the posts - standing for the Conservatives in the seat of Morley and Outwood in 2010, before contesting the seat of Wakefield in 2015 and 2017.

Ms Creagh said it was "extraordinary" that it "took the Tories so long to realise his views," given Mr Calvert had been vetted and selected as a candidate on four occasions.

She added: "There’s no place for racism in Wakefield."

'Not intended' to cause offence

In a statement, Mr Calvert said: "Over the last 24 hours a number of very historic posts from my personal Facebook timeline have been featured in the news media.

"They included comments between me and friends going back almost 10 years, well before I was first a candidate for the Wakefield constituency. These comments were certainly not intended to cause any offence.

"While I would prefer to stand and fight the assertions these comments represent either my views or those of the Conservative Party, I accept that to do this would simply create a distraction from the very serious issues being discussed at this General Election.

He continued: "I am not prepared to countenance a situation where the Conservative Party is even marginally distracted from the key themes of this election.

"My sole ambition in politics has been to return a Conservative MP for Wakefield that can make an authentic and lasting contribution for my home city in Parliament. If my continuing in this role will jeopardise this at all then I have concluded that I must stand down. source