Election 2019

General election 2019: Karl McCartney apologises over retweets

Karl McCartney Image copyright Karl McCartney
Image caption Karl McCartney says he accepts the retweets were "ill judged"

A Conservative election candidate has apologised for retweeting posts from former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson.

Campaign group Hope Not Hate said Karl McCartney shared several posts from Mr Robinson and far-right commentator Katie Hopkins.

The posts, it said, contained "anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic material".

Hope Not Hate has called for Mr McCartney to be suspended as the candidate for Lincoln.

In a statement, Mr McCartney said: "I apologise unreservedly. In no way do I endorse the tweets or the accounts behind them. I accept retweeting them was ill judged and could cause offence.

"This divisive figure [Mr Robinson] has no place in our politics or public life."

'Spreading hate'

Hope Not Hate said Mr McCartney retweeted "far-right propaganda" from Mr Robinson - real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon - and Ms Hopkins, over a "sustained period" starting in 2018.

Chief executive Nick Lowles said: "There's no excuse for promoting far-right propaganda, spreading the hateful views of a thug like Tommy Robinson or the vile comments of Katie Hopkins.

"[It] demonstrates that Karl McCartney isn't fit to be an MP."

He added that Mr McCartney had failed to explain why he would have promoted such views in the first place.

Image copyright Twitter
Image caption Karl McCartney came under fire in 2014 after he was accused of favouriting a pornographic image on Twitter

It is not the first time Mr McCartney has come under fire for his Twitter activity.

In 2014, he said his account had been hacked, blaming Twitter security changes, after he was accused of "favouriting" a pornographic image.

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