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Rishi Sunak urged to deselect Liz Truss over appearance on ‘far-right’ platform

29 May 2024 4 minute read
Liz Truss. Photo Peter Byrne PA Images

Rishi Sunak has been urged to deselect Liz Truss as a Conservative candidate over her appearance on a “far-right” platform founded by a commentator who joked about raping an MP.

An interview with former prime minister Ms Truss is due to be streamed on Wednesday on Lotus Eaters, set up by Carl Benjamin.

Jess Phillips, the former shadow minister for domestic violence and safeguarding, has written to Mr Sunak to criticise the move.

The Labour MP highlighted Mr Benjamin’s “despicable views about violence against women” after he told her some years ago he “wouldn’t even rape you”.

Hateful

In her letter to the Prime Minister, Ms Phillips wrote: “It is clear that anyone willing to appear on this hateful platform is not suitable to be a candidate for any political party. Even Reform UK deselected one of its candidates after his harmful views and work as a content creator for Lotus Eaters was exposed.

“If you have any decency, you will deselect Liz Truss as Conservative candidate for South West Norfolk. Anything less than this will show how weak you are and how far the Conservative Party has sunk.”

The Lotus Eaters website says Ms Truss is appearing on its Tomlinson Talks show to discuss her book, Ten Years To Save The West.

She recorded the interview before the General Election was called and has no relationship with Mr Benjamin, it is understood.

But campaign group Hope Not Hate said it is “completely irresponsible” for any MP or candidate to share a platform with “far-right activists” and called for Ms Truss to be suspended from the Conservative Party.

Despicable views

Ms Phillips, MP for Birmingham Yardley, wrote: “Today, former Prime Minister Liz Truss, a Conservative candidate in the upcoming general election, will be interviewed on the far-right platform ‘Lotus Eaters’, founded by Carl Benjamin, an extreme far-right commentator.

“Benjamin has despicable views about violence against women. When I highlighted the volume of rape threats received by female MPs, including myself, Benjamin responded, ‘I wouldn’t even rape you’, later adding ‘There’s been an awful lot of talk about whether I would or wouldn’t rape Jess Phillips. I suppose with enough pressure I might cave, but let’s be honest nobody’s got that much beer.’

“The impact men like Benjamin have on politics cannot be understated. Men like Benjamin make female MPs live in fear, while discouraging women from standing in future, weakening our democracy in the process.

“You have a responsibility as leader of your Party to uphold high standards among your MPs and candidates, and you have a responsibility as Prime Minister to foster a safe environment for MPs, particularly female MPs who face ever-increasing rates of abuse and threat.”

Labour has previously called for Ms Truss to have the Tory whip removed after her attendance at the Conservative Political Action Conference in the US earlier this year.

Steve Bannon

The former Tory leader later took part in an interview with Steve Bannon, who served as a senior White House aide to former Republican president Donald Trump, and she remained silent as he hailed English Defence League founder Tommy Robinson as a “hero”.

Hope Not Hate campaigns director Georgie Laming said: “It is completely irresponsible for any MP or candidate to share a platform with Lotus Eaters and their band of conspiracy theorists and far-right activists.

“This isn’t the first time Liz Truss has flirted with the far-right, she must be immediately suspended from the Conservative Party.”

Mr Benjamin, who gained a large YouTube following under the name Sargon of Akkad, failed in his bid to get elected to the European Parliament as a Ukip candidate in 2019 following his comments about Ms Phillips.

He launched Lotuseaters.com in 2020.

Downing Street has been contacted for comment.


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Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
17 days ago

His last chance to do some actual good. Will he take it?

John Ellis
John Ellis
17 days ago
Reply to  Fi yn unig

Rishi Sunak has been urged to deselect Liz Truss as a Conservative candidate over her appearance on a “far-right” platform …’

He won’t, because he dare not. He knows well enough that his party membership preferred Truss over him, and, given the chance, would still do so.

Unless, of course, they could get Johnson back …

Adrian
Adrian
17 days ago

It’s truly hilarious how the term ‘far right’ is thrown around with such gay abandon these days. Where should we place Carl Benjamin in relation to – oh I don’t know..Hitler for example.

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
17 days ago
Reply to  Adrian

Hitler started with a narrative.

Adrian
Adrian
17 days ago
Reply to  Fi yn unig

I’m no fan of Benjamin, but to call him far right is ridiculous.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
17 days ago

When Modi Ji announced that he had been chosen by God I thought, apprehensively, which one…Kali, Shiva, Yama…Such a palette…

Truss has all the appearance of some Road to Bedlam event…

Par for the course in the Unicorn Parliament…

hdavies15
hdavies15
17 days ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

She could go off and do a full on road show – just living proof that nutters can go far in UK politics whereas sane people just don’t get a look in.

Mawkernewek
17 days ago

That ring on a necklace makes my think that she will start saying “My precioussss…”

Jeff
Jeff
17 days ago

Far right indeed, bunch of awful people. And she blames everyone apart from herself for the mess she and the IEA cooked up. It came under mess about and see what happens. Don’t forget this Conservative party (ARTD came out to bat for her) put her in power and only removed her when real world reality train wreck hammered home ruining untold lives and threatened to sink HMS UK. The Tory party then rummaged down the back of the settee to produce Sunak, who came third in the race Truss won. Lets not forget who Bannon is and the others… Read more »

Jeff
Jeff
17 days ago
Reply to  Jeff
Richard Davies
Richard Davies
17 days ago

I reckon the runner up to a lettuce has been infected by Ophiocordyceps unilateralis – it’s the only explanation for how she’s gone from a reasonable lib-dem to alt-right conspiracy loon!

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
17 days ago

I get it; her and Sunak, they are androids…

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