McDonnell piles pressure on Watson over Mosley

Mr Mosley said in an interview earlier this week that he was of the opinion that “financial inducements” should be offered to immigrants to persuade them to “go home”.

He told Channel 4 News this was “completely academic because we’re 50-odd years on and it’s no longer a possible question”.

The comments came as it emerged Mr Mosley had allegedly published a campaign leaflet connecting non-white immigrants with tuberculosis, VD and leprosy.

McDonnell piles pressure on Watson over Mosley
McDonnell piles pressure on Watson over Mosley

The Daily Mail, which reported the claims, said it was unearthed in historical archives in Manchester.

The pamphlet was produced in support of a candidate for his father Sir Oswald Mosley’s Union Movement in a by-election in 1961.

Mr Mosley, who has campaigned for stricter press regulation and has given funds to the independent regulator Impress, says he does not “recognise” the leaflet and it is “not something I would have ever wished to be associated with”.

Max Mosley
Image:Max Mosley has said he does not ‘recognise’ the leaflet

He also said his views have “changed over the last half century”.

When asked for his thoughts on the Channel 4 interview, Mr McDonnell told Sky News’ Sunday with Paterson show: “Of course it’s not our view and it’s the sort of proposals which we’ve condemned in the past outright.”

Pressed further if Mr Watson should return more than £500,000 he had received from Mr Mosley, the shadow chancellor said: “The money was given to Tom, Tom took that decision. He took that decision on the basis, I believe, that Max Mosley’s views had changed from years ago.”

He added: “If those are the same views now, well Tom will really need to consider seriously exactly that relationship with Max Mosley and the finances as well.

“Because if he is reiterating these views from the past, he clearly hasn’t changed.”

Mr Watson, Labour’s deputy leader, last week described Mr Mosley as someone who backs the “weak against the strong”, adding he would never have given the ex-Formula One boss “the time of day” if he thought he held the sort of views expressed in the document.

Amid the furore, Labour said neither Mr Watson nor the party would take any further payments from Mr Mosley.

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