Labour candidate Andy Brown suspended for 'sharing pro-Russian posts'

A Labour Party candidate has been suspended following reports he shared "pro-Russian" posts online.

Andy Brown has been dropped as Labour's candidate for Aberdeenshire North and Moray East after sharing posts denying Russia's involvement in the Salisbury poisonings.

He shared a link in 2018 to an article on the state-run RT website (formerly Russia Today) that suggested the novichok nerve agent used to poison former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia did not come from Russia.

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Mr Brown shared a post implying then prime minister Theresa May was hiding critical information about the attacks.

He also shared a post appearing to downplay allegations of antisemitism against Labour.

The post had a quote from a Jewish historian that said "the real issue... is that right wing Jews in the Labour Party and outside the party object to the fact that Jeremy Corbyn is a consistent supporter of Palestinian rights".

Labour confirmed Mr Brown had been suspended from the party pending an investigation, meaning he cannot stand as a Labour candidate.

Rachel Reeves, Labour's shadow chancellor told Sky News' Breakfast with Kay Burley: "I hadn't heard of this guy until this morning, and I'm very, very pleased that I will hopefully not have to hear of him again because he's been suspended as a Labour candidate.

"That is absolutely right. We've taken the swift action.

"There is no place in the Labour Party for people who don't share our values, don't share the values of the British public.

"So that is why as soon as these postings came to light, we've got rid of him. He's no longer a Labour candidate."

She said Labour under Sir Keir Starmer takes "swift action when people misbehave", adding: "That's why, for example, Jeremy Corbyn is no longer a Labour MP. He's not a Labour candidate this election.

"People who do not share our values in the changed Labour Party get kicked out of the Labour Party."

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The newly formed Aberdeenshire North and Moray East seat has already had its fair share of controversy after Conservative David Duguid, who is recovering from a serious illness, was not selected to stand at the last minute.

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross unexpectedly took his place just 24 hours before nominations had to be submitted.

Mr Duguid said he was "very saddened by the way this whole episode has unfolded and it would be wrong of me to pretend otherwise".

Sky News has approached Andy Brown for comment.

The other candidates in Aberdeenshire North and Moray East are:

Ian Bailey, Liberal Democrats

Jo Hart, Reform UK

Seamus Logan, SNP