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Sun, 14 July 2024

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Jo Swinson urged to drop Lib Dem MP hopeful who branded rival a 'Barbie doll'

2 min read

Jo Swinson has come under pressure to take action against the “dinosaur-type behaviour” of a Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate who likened a rival to a “Barbie doll”.


The Lib Dem leader is facing calls to respond in the wake of controversial remarks made by Jonathan Wallace, who unsuccessfully stood in the Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) election in July and is now the party’s MP hopeful for Blaydon.

HuffPost UK reported that Mr Wallace took aim at the winning Labour competitor in a Youtube video filmed from his car.

“The other three candidates were lightweights at best,” he said.

“The Labour candidate was little more than a Barbie doll reading from a script.”

He added: “We now have a new police commissioner, Kim McGuinness, barbie doll as she is dubbed by many.”

Labour’s shadow policing minister Louise Haigh challenged Ms Swinson to take action against the candidate.

She told PoliticsHome: “These comments from a prospective MP dismissing his opponent purely on the basis of her gender could not be more out of place in 2019.

"The Lib Dems and Jo Swinson should take swift action against this dinosaur-type behaviour."

A Liberal Democrat spokesperson said: “We do not condone the comments that were made, and Jonathan Wallace has rightly apologised for them. The language used does not reflect the values of the Liberal Democrats.”

Mr Wallace has since apologised for the comments.

In a statement, he said: "I apologise for the comments I made and the offence I have caused. I won’t repeat similar comments in the future”.

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