Tory Vice Chair Ben Bradley caught defending Councillor’s racist posts
Tory Vice Chair Ben Bradley, of libelled Jeremy Corbyn and ‘the unemployed should get vasectomies’ fame, has been caught by Buzzfeed defending a Conservative Party councillor Mick Murphy, who shared a racist Facebook post in 2016.
Buzzfeed’s suspicion was originally aroused after a statement from the party press office, supposedly in Bradley’s name, claimed that the councillor had taken down the offending post and apologised. When they pointed out that the post remained up, the Tory Party’s line changed: "The posts have been removed and an investigation is underway."
When they dug deeper they found that Bradley, while still a councillor himself, had defended the Cllr Murphy when approached by a local journalist back in 2016, stating:
“Let's put these posts in context shall we? Mick doesn't make any comment on the images at all - so for all you know he is sharing them simply for information, or even because he disapproves of them himself - you have no idea what his views are and he doesn't share any views on his page, does he? It is not for you or for anyone else to put words in his mouth! He has't (sic) actually said anything at all and you can't just make up his views to suit your story.”
Given that Cllr Murphy also liked several pages defending Tommy Robinson, the ‘perhaps he shared them because he disapproves’ defence struggles to hold up to scrutiny.
This is the latest in a long string of embarrassments for Bradley, billed early on as a Tory rising star as one of the few conservatives to gain a seat from Labour in 2017.