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New Labour MP defends 'heads kicked in' tweet

Charlotte Nichols MP
Image caption Charlotte Nichols made the comments in October before she was elected MP for Warrington North

A new MP has refused to apologise for tweeting that a group of Italian football fans giving fascist salutes should "get their heads kicked in".

Labour's Charlotte Nichols, who is Jewish, told the BBC: "I believe fascism should be physically confronted."

Her original comments were made in response to footage of Lazio supporters visiting Glasgow in October.

Conservative Wendy Maisey accused her of "inciting violence".

A group of Lazio fans were pictured and filmed making fascist salutes in the city before and during their side's Europa League defeat by Celtic.

On the eve of the tie, the new MP for Warrington North tweeted: "I hope every single one of them gets their heads kicked in by the good folk of Glasgow".

Speaking to the BBC after being elected last week, Ms Nichols said: "These were people doing Nazi salutes on the streets of Britain.

"As a Jewish person whose grandfather fought in World War Two, ultimately sometimes I believe that fascism has to be physically confronted".

Ms Nichols' original comments were made nearly two weeks before she was selected as Labour's candidate for Warrington North and nearly a week before sitting Labour MP Helen Jones announced she was to retire.

She added "As someone who is now an elected public official, naturally your language is going to be different from being an ordinary member of the public".

Ms Maisey, who was Ms Nichols' Conservative opponent in Warrington North, said "defeating Nazism and the hard left are absolutely crucial"

But added: "People in public office or looking at running for it should not be inciting violence".

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