Wyre’s Labour candidate Ben Whittingham has found himself at the centre of a Twitter storm after calling Winston Churchill a “racist and white supremacist”.
Ben Whittingham, 23, who has just been chosen as the Labour candidate for the Wyre and Preston North seat at the general election, posted: “Bit disappointed Churchill is on the new £5 given he was a racist and white supremacist. Can’t go into the future with a foot in the past.”
The tweet, which has since been deleted, has caused outrage, with current MP Ben Wallace writing to Labour leader Ed Miliband demanding that the candidate be made to make a public apology.
Mr Wallace, who has represented Wyre for 10 years wrote: “Not only are such comments ignorant, but incredibly insulting to the millions of people who stood side-by-side with Churchill to defeat the Nazis. I call on you to insist that your Labour candidate withdraw his comments and make a full apology. It would make a mockery if you were to allow Mr Whittingham’s comments to go unchallenged.”
Ben Whittingham, who is yet to comment about the tweet, claims he is a “community candidate” and wants to “open up politics”.
He is standing in what is currently regarded as a safe Tory seat held by Ben Wallace with a majority of 15,844 and now it is now unknown if his latest outburst will damage his standing to become MP for Wyre and Preston North constituency.
Current MP Ben Wallace has called the former Lancaster Grammar student “foolish” claiming that “this is not Mr Whittingham’s only attack on veterans...” having previously accused people who have served in the British Armed Forces of being “elitist.”
Former soldier-turned- MP Wallace has taken his outrage to leader of the opposition Ed Miliband, demanding that the Edinburugh University graduate not only “apologise to the Churchill family for his comments but also to the thousands of war veterans who gave up their lives fighting true white supremacists and racists: the Nazis.”
It is understood that the controversial tweet has also been criticised by Winston Churchill’s grandson Sir Nicholas Soames ,who is said to have described it as “deeply insulting”.
The Garstang Courier have been unable to get a comment from the party.