'Please delete this': Labour faces backlash over Rishi Sunak attack ad

Labour claimed the Prime Minister does not want adults convicted of sexually assaulting children to go to prison.

Labour faces internal backlash after ‘appalling’ Rishi Sunak attack ad Flickr

The Labour Party is facing a fierce backlash within its own ranks over an attack ad which claimed Rishi Sunak does not want adults convicted of sexually assaulting children to go to prison.

The Labour Party’s official Twitter account posted an image of the Prime Minister next to the words: “Do you think adults convicted of sexually assaulting children should go to prison? Rishi Sunak doesn’t”.

The party claimed that under the Tories, 4,500 adults convicted of sexually assaulting children under 16 have served no jail time.

The tweet, which comes just before England’s local elections in May, was accompanied by the caption “Labour is the party of law and order”.

The post sparked outrage from within the party, with former Scottish Labour leader tweeting: “Please delete this”.

Labour MSP Monica Lennon described the ad as “ill-judged”.

She said: “Survivors of childhood sexual abuse deserve better from the criminal justice system and from their elected representatives.

“This ad is ill-judged. Those of us who want a Labour government deserve campaign materials we can be proud to take into our communities.”

Fellow Labour MSP Carol Mochan said: “We can do so much better than this, I will be making my feelings clear to ensure we do.”

The claim appears to come from Labour’s own research released earlier this week that said more than 4,000 convicted child sex offenders have avoided jail since 2010, the year David Cameron came into power.

In the post, the party promised that “Labour will lock up dangerous child abusers”.

The post has been criticised from across the UK’s political parties, with Tory MP Tobias Ellwood describing it as “appalling”, and adding: “We should be better than this. I’ve called it out on my own side for stooping low and do so again now.”

SNP MP John Nicolson said the post was “nauseating” and that it “cheapened and debased” politics.

But Labour’s shadow culture secretary defended the post saying she stood by the campaign that highlighted what she said were failings in the justice system under the Conservatives.

Asked by the BBC if she stood by the ad, she said: “What I stand by is what that graphic is trying to show, which is that the prime minister of our country is responsible for the criminal justice system of our country – and currently that criminal justice system is not working.”

She continued: “The graphic itself, obviously, is a skit based on his own graphics that he extensively uses.

“I can see it’s not to everybody’s taste and some people won’t like it.

“I didn’t design the graphic but I’m here to explain what lies beneath it – which is a very serious point about what is happening to our criminal justice system, which is pretty shocking.”

A Labour Party spokesperson said: “The Conservatives have left dangerous convicted criminals free to roam the streets.

“Labour is the party of law and order, and we will implement tougher sentences for dangerous criminals.”

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