Police launch probe into Ukip candidate Carl Benjamin after rape comments about Labour MP
A Ukip MEP candidate is being investigated by police over rape comments he made about a Labour MP.
West Midlands Police confirmed an investigation had been launched into Carl Benjamin after he said he might "cave" into pressure and rape Birmingham Yardley MP Jess Phillips.
The YouTuber and EU Parliamentary candidate had previously sparked controversy when he said “I wouldn’t even rape you Jess Phillips” on Twitter in 2016.
But in a more recent video he added: “There’s been an awful lot of talk about whether I would or wouldn’t rape Jess Phillips. I’ve been in a lot of trouble for my hardline stance of not even raping her.
“I suppose with enough pressure I might cave. But let’s be honest, nobody’s got that much beer.”
Speaking to the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show on Tuesday, Phillips revealed she cried in the street after being texted the comments by a journalist.
She said receiving abuse makes her think twice about her ambition to become Prime Minister, and that those who promote rape or sexual violence should face a lifetime ban for standing in public office.
She added: “It was one thing when he was just some idiot off the internet with a load of bros following him.
“It’s a different thing when he’s standing on the same platforms I’m standing on and that he will potentially go to a parliament himself as an elected representative when he’s said these things.
“I just cannot believe our system is so weak at the moment that that’s allowed to happen…
“I felt harassed I felt like how could somebody say they would rape me if forced and be a legitimate candidate in an election.”
'NOT A THREAT'
Mr Benjamin previously defended his Twitter comments at the Ukip EU election launch, saying he would not “apologise for crimes against political correctness”.
He added: "I said ‘I wouldn’t even...’. That’s not a threat, it’s actually just offensive..."
“If a woman is being a giant bitch and laughing about male suicide I’m going to be a giant dick back to her.”
Responding to the police investigation, Ukip leader Gerrard Batten said: “Ukip has no knowledge of the police investigation and as such we cannot comment.
“I condemn all jokes about rape – they are not funny and never appropriate, and I have told Carl to keep to the serious political issues in this campaign.”
In a statement, West Midlands Police said: "Police have received a report of malicious communications relating to MP Jess Phillips
"Officers have spoken to Ms Phillips and the comments are being investigated to establish if an offence has taken place."