Labour by-election candidate apologises after ‘Tory MILF’ tweet emerges

LABOUR’S candidate to defend Hartlepool in an upcoming by-election has apologised for his past “inappropriate” tweets, including one about “a favourite Tory milf”.

Dr Paul Williams said on Friday that he “wouldn’t dream of making comments like this now” after the decade-old messages came to light.

The former MP was selected as the constituency’s candidate after Mike Hill resigned from the Commons amid sexual harassment allegations.

In one tweet sent in 2011, Dr Williams said: “Do you have a favourite Tory MILF? Mind-blowing dinner table conversation @ #ppw11.”

READ MORE: Criticism after Labour’s candidate for Hartlepool steps down from Police and Crime Commissioner race

Also that year, he compared the burglary of Conservative MP Liam Fox to a sexual harassment scene in a movie.

“Am I the only one to read the sentence containing Liam Fox, burglary and young man in spare room to think of a scene in Withnail and I?” the candidate tweeted.

After party leader Sir Keir Starmer said it was inappropriate to use the word “milf”, Labour issued a statement from Dr Williams, who was the MP for Stockton South from 2017 until 2019.

“These tweets were inappropriate and I am sorry for using such language,” he said.

“They were from a decade ago, which doesn’t diminish the fact that they were wrong, but I want to reassure people that I wouldn’t dream of making comments like this now.”

Asked if use of the word milf was appropriate during a visit to Glasgow, Sir Keir said: “No it isn’t and Hartlepool is obviously a very important by-election for us.”

The by-election is seen as a key test of Sir Keir’s leadership as he seeks to defend a seat in Labour’s heartlands, with so much of it falling to the Conservatives in the 2019 general election.

One seat taken by Boris Johnson’s party was Dr Williams’ constituency of Stockton South.

Mr Hill was suspended by Labour in September 2019 over allegations he sexually harassed a woman but had the whip restored to contest the general election two months later.

His resignation as an MP this week came in the wake of reports that he used taxpayers’ money to fight a staff member’s claim of unfair dismissal, sexual assault and harassment.

The Northern Echo | Teesside