Wakefield Conservative candidate 'under review' over offensive Facebook posts

The Labour candidate for Wakefield in December's General Election has said the Tories should "boot out" their candidate for the seat over past Facebook posts.

Antony Calvert, Conservative parliamentary candidate for Wakefield pictured with Chris Grayling, then Secretary of State for Transport, at Wakefield Kirkgate Station in 2017. Photo: JPI Media

talkRADIO reported on Friday night how Antony Calvert's candidacy was "under review" after a number of inflammatory social media posts were revealed, including one criticising the looks of Labour's pick and MP up until last week, Mary Creagh.

In one post, from 2010, he said: "Can't believe just how shocking Mary Creagh looks on TV. Obviously the BBC make up dept don't work on Sunday."

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While in another from 2011 he said if former Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi wanted to "wander the streets unrecognised he should surely have fled to Bradford".

Labour candidate for Wakefield Mary Creagh. Photo: Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images

But after Ms Creagh posted on Twitter and said "there is no place for racism in Wakefield", Mr Calvert replied: "There is not a racist bone in my body. These outrageous insinuations are absolutely beneath contempt.

"Taking and distorting comments made almost 10 years ago on Facebook speaks volumes for just how desperate her, and Labour's, campaign is."

But Ms Creagh said: "There is no place for this sort of racism in Wakefield. If the Tory party is serious about tackling racism and Islamophobia they should boot him out."

A Conservative Party spokesman said: "We are urgently looking into this matter and Mr Calvert's candidacy is under review."

It is not the first time Mr Calvert and Ms Creagh have traded blows over social media posts. During the 2017 General Election Mr Calvert tweeted: "Man recognises me at Wakefield Westgate. 'These f****n Tories always looking to trample on t'working class, like me.' Man walks into Costa'".

Highlighting the post on Twitter, Ms Creagh wrote: "This sneering tweet sums up why Wakefield Tory candidate doesn't deserve your vote."

At the time he said: "This tweet was sent several weeks ago and has only now been highlighted in an attempt to discredit me.

"The tweet merely contains statements of fact and I wrote it to show how people involved in politics are unfortunately subject to abuse. Any other perception taken from the tweet was not intended."