UKIP candidate for Sedgefield: My deep shame over sex comments

A UKIP candidate has spoke of his deep shame after making sexually explicit comments about well-known female columnist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown.

John Leathley, 23, who hopes to represent Sedgefield , and who is also standing for Stockton Borough Council in the Hardwick area, was communicating with other young Ukip members on Facebook last November when he made sexually explicit remarks about the centre-left journalist.

Mr Leathley apologised in a statement issued through Ukip, saying:

“I would like to apologise unreservedly to Yasmin Alibhai-Brown.

“I read what I wrote now, I am shocked by them and am appalled and deeply ashamed of my words.

“The comments were made during a private conversation in the evening clearly were never meant to be publicly released, and they should never have been said.

“I am very sorry and regret deeply being so coarse, it is out of character but no more excusable for that.”

The Durham University student had previously declined to apologise in the university’s student newspaper, stating:

“I have no comment to make other than this is the work of an individual who is taking comments from a private conversation between a group of friends dated months ago in a malicious attempt to tarnish my name and reputation.”

 Ms Alibhai-Brown, whose appearance on the BBC’s Question Time led to the comments, said:
Even I’m shocked and I get a lot of this.

“If this is what people who go into public life are going to be like then God help us. I saw the apology and of course I’m not going to give any credence to it at all.

“You don’t apologise because you are found out. Was he drunk? If he wasn’t, then what he said was absolutely appalling. It’s sexist, it’s racist, it’s violent.”

Source – Durham Times, 06 May 2015

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