Senior Tory apologises for libellous tweet about Jeremy Corbyn… Full statement here:

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Conservative Party Vice Chair Ben Bradley has apologised unreservedly for a libellous tweet about Jeremy Corbyn, pledged to never repeat the claims in any form, agreed to make a substantial donation to charities of the Labour Leader’s choosing and meet his legal costs.

Jeremy Corbyn will be splitting the funds between a homeless charity and a foodbank in Mr Bradley’s constituency of Mansfield.

Mr Bradley’s apology, which he will also tweet and ask followers to retweet, says:

“On 19 February 2018 I made a seriously defamatory statement on my Twitter account, ‘Ben Bradley MP (@bbradleymp)’, about Jeremy Corbyn, alleging he sold British secrets to communist spies. I have since deleted the defamatory tweet. I have agreed to pay an undisclosed substantial sum of money to a charity of his choice, and I will also pay his legal costs.

“I fully accept that my statement was wholly untrue and false. I accept that I caused distress and upset to Jeremy Corbyn by my untrue and false allegations, suggesting he had betrayed his country by collaborating with foreign spies.

“I am very sorry for publishing this untrue and false statement and I have no hesitation in offering my unreserved and unconditional apology to Jeremy Corbyn for the distress I have caused him.”

A spokesperson for Jeremy Corbyn said:

“We are pleased Ben Bradley has admitted what he said was entirely untrue and apologised, and that charities in Mansfield will benefit.

“Following the botched smear campaign against Jeremy, this case shows we are not going to let dangerous lies go unchallenged.”