Humiliating blow for Change UK as second candidate dumped over offensive social media comments
Change UK have been dealt another humiliating blow after they were forced to dump another European election candidate for offensive social media posts.
Joseph Russo, who was number one of the party's list in Scotland, became the second hopeful to be forced out within 24 hours of the party's campaign launch.
Writing on Twitter in 2012, Mr Russo said the arrest of former pop star Gary Glitter for historical child sex offences “smack of the police targeting low hanging fruit”.
Glitter - real name Paul Gadd - was convicted in the UK in 1999 for downloading child pornography and was arrested again in October 2012 as part of Operation Yewtree.
In 2015, he was found guilty of attempted rape, indecent assault and having sex with a child under the age of 13, and was sentenced to a total of 16 years in prison.
In another tweet, Mr Russo added: “I wonder if there’s a c**t/anchovy correlation. One smells like the other.”
And speaking about an unknown American woman in 2010, he tweeted: “The American woman has too much time on her hands – I’d burn her as a yule log. Bitch.”
A spokesperson for the party told PoliticsHome that Mr Russo was no longer on the list of candidates.
The spokesperson added: “We have been made aware of several offensive Twitter posts. We have discussed this with Joseph Russo and it has been agreed that he will stand down and is no longer on our list of candidates.”
The stream of embarrassing tweets also included Mr Russo describing Change UK MP Anna Soubry as “Thatcher 2.0” as well as claiming pizza chain Dominoes was owned by a “loony Catholic”.
The University of Glasgow PhD candidate has now deleted his Twitter account.
His removal as a candidate is yet another major blow for the party who were yesterday forced to dump London candidate Ali Sadjay after he was accused of “hate speech”.
The MMA fighter was dropped hours after he was announced at the party’s official European election launch after a 2017 tweet was uncovered in which he wrote: “When I hear that 70% of pick pockets caught on the London Underground are Romanian it kind makes me want Brexit.”