David Cameron’s Indian Diaspora Champion Priti Patel has called for a Labour election rival to be sacked after accusing him of sending her “racist” and “misogynistic” Twitter messages.
Conservative Mrs Patel – MP for Witham in Essex – criticized her Labour opponent John Clarke after he compared her to the “village idiot” and called her a “sexy Bond villain”.
Clarke reportedly apologized after Mrs Patel, 42, informed Labour leader Ed Miliband about the messages.
Mrs Patel also accused Clarke of being a “liar” after he alleged that she employed her husband Alex Sawyer on more than £50,000 per year and hinted that she was the UK’s “most expensive MP”.
She told Mr Miliband that Mr Clarke had been making “derogatory, sleazy and demeaning comments, which had misogynistic and racist undertones to them”.
Last week, Mr Clarke – a former teacher and university lecturer – emailed Ms Patel to say: “I would like to apologise to you for any offence caused and assure you that any inaccuracies will not be repeated.”
A Labour Party spokesman said: “The candidate has apologised for any offence caused and we are satisfied that any inaccuracies will not be repeated.”
However, Mrs Patel today called for Mr Miliband to take action against his colleague, saying Clarke’s actions were unacceptable.
She said: “This sort of behaviour does nothing to improve the image of politics in the eyes of the public, and I believe may be a deliberate attempt to appeal to the most unpleasant racial prejudice in our society.”
Mr Clarke’s posts on Twitter included claims that a “village is missing its idiot”.
Mrs Patel, who was born in London to East African Gujarati parents, said Clarke had been trolling her for “ages and ages”.
In one tweet dated 10 February, Clarke responds to a Twitter message by Mrs Patel by asking: “If you’re the ‘sexy Bond villain’ does that make me Bond, James Bond? (Cue the Music)”.
Mrs Patel said: “It is not just what he has put on Twitter, it has been his conduct for what has been a considerable period of time. I could take further action if I want to.
“I am going to get back in touch with Ed Miliband and ask – Are you sanctioning this kind of behaviour basically?”
Mr Clarke has not commented on the matter.