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Ditched Labour candidate attacks 'misleading' row

By Greg Heffer, Political Reporter
A former Labour parliamentary candidate believes a row over whether she questioned the Manchester terror attack and the murder of an MP was "entirely misleading".
Mandy Richards, who has been ditched by Labour as their candidate in Worcester, blamed "misrepresentation" and "conceit" for her being blocked from standing for Parliament.
Labour's ruling body have officially rejected Ms Richards as a candidate, despite her being selected by the local constituency party as their candidate for the next general election, scheduled for 2022.A spokesperson said: "The NEC has not endorsed Mandy Richards as the Labour Party candidate for Worcester."Questions were raised about Ms Richards' selection after it emerged she claimed on social media the murder of Jo Cox MP was "conveniently bereft of evidence".Following the Manchester Arena bombing last June, she also posted: "Why still no images/ footage of physical damage?"
Ditched Labour candidate attacks 'misleading' row

Image:
Ms Richards appeared to question the Manchester terror attack on Twitter
Ditched Labour candidate attacks 'misleading' row

Describing herself as "disappointed" by the NEC's decision Ms Richards said: "It is unfortunate that the misrepresentation of the circumstances leading up to my selection were allowed to gain traction."The comments attributed to me on Twitter were also entirely misleading."I have never stated that the Manchester bombings and Jo Cox's death were staged or false and [sic] flags."As a journalist, teacher and aspiring politician my role is to question, challenge, educate and reform."If in that endeavour individuals have unfairly seized on an opportunity to distort my intention to further their own ambition at the expense of mine, they will need to wrestle with their conscience on that in due course.
"The conceit, however, will not remain unanswered."Over the weekend, The Sunday Times revealed Ms Richards was banned from bringing court actions without a judge's permission because of "vexatious" claims against MI6, MI5, Thames Water, Hackney Council and the centrist Labour group Progress.The High Court made 14 civil restraint orders banning her from taking further action without approval.The election commissioner John Bowers QC, giving his judgment, said she had pursued "totally unfounded" "conspiracy hypotheses".Ms Richards reportedly claimed her allegations were dismissed "because she was a black woman".Sky News understands the NEC concluded Ms Richards displayed a lack of judgement deemed incompatible with the standards expected of candidates.Prospective candidates are asked when applying to disclose anything that could cause embarrassment to either themselves or the party or bring it into disrepute.Ms Richards did not do this, Sky News understands.
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Labour MP Wes Streeting said the rejection of Ms Richards by the NEC was "the right decision and acted upon commendably fast".At last June's snap general election, the Worcester seat was won by Conservative Brexit minister Robin Walker with a majority of less than 2,500.
news.sky.com
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