Angela Rayner defends Labour’s Hartlepool candidate over old sexist tweet


Deputy party leader insists GP and former MP is best man for ‘red wall’ byelection seat

Angela Rayner has insisted that Labour has the “best candidate” to fight the crucial Hartlepool byelection in May, after a senior figure suggested he should be replaced because of a sexist tweet he made in 2011.

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Paul Williams, the GP and former Stockton South MP, has apologised for a historical tweet in which he used the term “milf”. Shami Chakrabarti, the Labour peer who was shadow attorney general until last year, said the tweet was misogynistic and that a new candidate should be found. Her comments came after internal criticism that Williams had been the only candidate placed on the party’s longlist.

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