Liberal Democrats ditch candidate after he calls for Tories to be 'burned at the stake'
The Liberal Democrats have dropped a candidate after he called for senior Conservatives to be "burned at the stake".
Galen Milne has been axed as the party's candidate for Banff and Buchan in northeast Scotland after his comments on social media came to light.
According to The Sun, Mr Milne took aim at top Tories Boris Johnson, Liam Fox, Michael Gove, David Davis and Jacob Rees-Mogg in a post on Facebook.
He reportedly said: "Johnson, Fox, Gove, Davis, Rees-Mogg should be hung, drawn and quartered, with each quarter being sent to the 4 corners of the UK to be burned at the stake."
The comments prompted anger from the Conservatives, with Tory vice chairman Andrew Bowie urging Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson to step in - and blaming her "extreme position on Brexit" for the comments.
Mr Rees-Mogg, the Commons leader, meanwhile quipped: "Typical Lib Dem. Mr Milne should get his facts straight. As Lord President of the Council, I am entitled to the privilege of being beheaded."
Confirming that Mr Galen had now been ditched as a candidate, a spokesman for the Scottish Liberal Democrats said: "Such language is unacceptable and offensive, Galen Milne will not be a Liberal Democrat candidate at the general election."
Mr Milne said following his deselection: "I deeply regret the offensive statements on social media.
"I want to apologise to anyone that I have offended."
PHILIP LEE ROW
The row came as one of the Lib Dems' new MPs, Philip Lee, defended his record on LGBT rights following his defection from the Conservatives.
A string of Lib Dem activists - including the party's LGBT chair Jennie Riggings - have quit the party in protest at Dr Lee's admission.
They have raised particular objection to an amendment to the 2014 Immigration Bill Dr Lee tabled in 2014 which called for immigrants to be tested for HIV before coming to the UK.
The former Conservative - whose defection robbed Boris Johnson of his Commons majority - also abstained on the 2013 same-sex marriage vote.
But he told the Guardian's Today in Focus podcast that there had been a "misrepresentation" of his views.
On the Immigration Bill proposal, he said: "My view was that it’s better that with people coming into this country we knew their status so that they could be treated, and also that we could prevent further infection spreading. That’s not how it’s been portrayed in certain quarters."