Tory vice-chair deletes communist spy tweet after Jeremy Corbyn legal threat
A Conservative MP has been forced to delete a tweet alleging Jeremy Corbyn sold secrets to Communist spies after a legal threat from the Labour leader.
Ben Bradley, one of the Tories' vice-chairs, posted the message amid claims - strenuously denied by Mr Corbyn - that he passed on information to a Czech 'diplomat' at the height of the Cold War 30 years ago.
Papers from the former Czech state police, known as the Statni Bezpecnost, showed Mr Corbyn was first approached in 1986 by left-wing activists and agreed to further meetings.
The Sun claimed that at one of those, Mr Corbyn passed information to the diplomat, including warning him about a clampdown by British intelligence on eastern European spies operating in the UK.
Labour has insisted the reports are "entirely false".
Mansfield MP Mr Bradley tweet, posted at 2.30pm on Tuesday, read: "Corbyn sold British secrets to communist spies ... get some perspective mate!! Your priorities are a bit awry."
This evening, a spokesman for Mr Corbyn said: "Jeremy has instructed solicitors to contact [Tory MP] Ben Bradley to delete his libellous tweet or face legal action."
Mr Bradley subsequently removed the post from his Twitter page.
It is not the first time Mr Bradley, who was only elected last June, has landed in hot water since his promotion in Theresa May's last reshuffle.
He was condemned last month after comments he made in a 2012 blogpost emerged in which he suggested unemployed men should have vasectomies.
He said: "It’s horrendous that there are families out there that can make vastly more than the average wage, (or in some cases more than a bloody good wage) just because they have 10 kids. Sorry but how many children you have is a choice; if you can’t afford them, stop having them! Vasectomies are free.
"There are hundreds of families in the UK who earn over £60,000 in benefits without lifting a finger because they have so many kids (and for the rest of us that’s a wage of over £90,000 before tax!)."
The blogpost - which Mr Bradley deleted after they were revealed by Buzzfeed - was written in support of the Government's cap on benefits payments.
He said: "I apologise for these posts. My time in politics has allowed me to mature and I now realise that this language is not appropriate."