'Loony Catholic': Scots Change UK candidate's social media posts adds to string of disasters
In social media posts Change UK's lead Scottish candidate Joseph Russo made a series of statements which will bring the parties selection vetting into question.
In a tweet from 2013 now deleted from the website, Russo said the arrest of Gary Glitter smacked of the police targetting "low hanging fruit".
Glitter, real name Paul Francis Glad, was later convicted in 2015 for historic child sexual abuse and attempted rape after attempting to evade arrest by flying to various countries who refused entry.
In a Twitter conversation, Russo also appeared to criticise the prosecution of a teacher who had sexual relationships with a pupil, saying that the fact the relationship was ongoing should be taken into account.
In another tweet Russo called the owner of Dominoes a "loony catholic".
Russo was announced as Change UK's top candidate in Scotland, with the new party seemingly hopeful it could pick up seats across the UK despite very poor initial polling results.
In 2015, Russo also said his new party colleague Anna Soubry looked like "[Margaret] Thatcher 2.0", and referred to Soubry's defence and record of supporting welfare cuts saying she should attempt a healthy diet on £70 per week.
Russo's tweets follow a string of disasters following Change UK's official launch of its European election campaign yesterday.
Hours after being put centre stage at the launch, Ali Sadjady, a former Tory who was standing for the European parliament elections in London, was accused of “hate speech” against EU citizens.
Sadjady said in tweets unearthed that he was tempted to support Brexit if it stopped "Romanian pickpockets" coming to the UK, and also said advocates of a second referendum did not “believe in democracy”, even though this is Change UK's central policy binding the coalition together.
Russo has now deleted all of his tweets prior to April 2019, however The Red Robin confirmed they were sent from his account through an internet cache.
Neither Russo, Change UK, or the party leader Heidi Allen, responded to repeated requests for comment.