British poll candidate apologises for 'racist' tweets

London: A Labour Party candidate for the upcoming British general election apologised after a Conservative lawmaker of Indian origin accused him of "racist" attacks and trolling her on Twitter, according to media reports.

John Clarke, who was chosen to contest from the Witham seat, emailed his Conservative Party rival Priti Patel last week after she complained about his behaviour to Labour Party leader Ed Miliband, reported Braintree and Witham Times on Tuesday.

Patel, who is the British treasury minister, complained to Miliband three weeks ago after Clarke sent her a string of demeaning tweets.

She was also concerned about what was printed about her in the Labour Party newsletter.

Clarke, who has been a teacher, and is the vice chairman of the Witham branch of the Labour Party, had described Patel as a "village idiot" and a "sexy Bond villain" on Twitter.

Last week, Clarke emailed Patel to say: "I would like to apologise to you for any offence caused and assure you that any inaccuracies will not be repeated."

Patel said Clarke was not fit to stand for the member of parliament election.

"The comments made by the Labour Party's candidate are disgusting and offensive.

"Constituents have reported to me how appalled they were to see the desperate lengths Labour are going in their leaflets with false, untrue and misleading statements about me. Alongside the smears on social media, people will conclude that the Labour candidate is unfit for public office," Patel said.

"Ed Miliband has known about his conduct for nearly three weeks and rather than take any action, the Labour Party leader has chosen to bury his head in the sand.

"It reflects very badly on the Labour Party that they are prepared to endorse a candidate who makes false statements in election leaflets, sneers at job creating businesses and women entrepreneurs, and makes derogatory, misogynistic and racist remarks.

"The general election campaign should be about having strong and robust exchanges on how to improve the Witham constituency and make Britain a better place to live, but the Labour candidate has no interest in these matters and only wants to fight a negative, unpleasant campaign based on untruths and smears," Patel said.

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