General Election: Jeremy Corbyn backer resigns after homophobic and racist tweets exposed
A high-ranking Labour youth activist has apologised after it was revealed she posted a string of offensive tweets.
Bethany Barker, a former chair of Nottingham University’s Labour Students club, posted homophobic, racist and anti-Semitic tweets up until 2014.
Ms Barker had come to such prominence in Labour’s student wing that she even introduced leader Jeremy Corbyn, who is a strong supporter of LGBT rights, at a local election launch attended by senior MPs Tom Watson, John McDonnell and Angela Rayner.
In a string of shocking posts – which she now apologises for – the university student referred to the “n****r race”, described a skull cap as a “Jew cap” and referred to another Twitter user as a “fagot”, according to the Telegraph.
The tweets were posted between 2012-2014 and Ms Barker insisted they did not represent her current views.
She has since resigned from her post leading her university’s Labour club ahead of the general election.
Nottingham Labour Students condemned the remarks and said they are “not representative” of the society’s views.
In response to a tweet about the jewellery firm Pandora knowing “your mood”, the political activist tweeted: “it’s a jewellery company you f***ing fagot it will never know your mood”.
In other posts, she wrote: “I hate bbc one, f***ing c**ts black f***ing bitch I hate everyone #mayday.”
In a tweet from 2013, days after her racist BBC outburst, Ms Barker wrote: “I cooked brandon chicken and rice, supporting the n****r race.”
She has now issued a sincere apology to her Facebook, which is publicly viewable, saying she is sorry to the “African and Caribbean Society, Jewish and Israeli Society, LGBT+ Network and BAME Network.”
The apology continues: “As some of you may have seen on Twitter, some screenshots have resurfaced about what have said in the past.
“I’m absolutely horrified and beyond disgusted about these tweets and they are in no representative of the views I hold now.
“I have no recollection of writing these tweets and I am unequivocally sorry for the shadow has been brought over our society because of it.
“These views are in no way with what I align with today and am beyond upset that I could ever say such things.
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“This society has meant so much to me since started university and the Labour Party has been held so strongly in my heart since have been a part of it.”
Jacob Collier, chair of the student group, said: “We reiterate these comments are not reflective of Nottingham Labour Students members and we will do everything as a committee to ensure that our society is an inclusive and welcoming place for everyone regardless of their background, ability, age, ethnicity, race, religion, gender or sexual orientation.”
It’s not the first surprising story since the snap general election was called for June 8.
Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron also agonised over a question of whether gay sex is a sin, before eventually revealing his view to the BBC, two years after first being asked.
More: 2017, Angela Rayner, anti-Semitic, anti-semitism, Bethany barker, general election, General Election 2017, homophobic, Jeremy Corbyn, Labour, labour students, Nottingham, party, racist, Rebecca long Bailey, Tom Watson