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Labour candidate Andy Brown ‘shocked’ by suspension ahead of Aberdeenshire North and Moray East vote

By Alistair Whitfield

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The Labour candidate blocked from standing at the general election for Aberdeenshire North and Moray East is claiming it’s a case of mistaken identity.

Parliamentary candidate Andy Brown has been suspended by the Labour Party.
Parliamentary candidate Andy Brown has been suspended by the Labour Party.

Andy Brown says he’s “in shock” after being barred by his own party from representing them on July 4 in the newly formed parliamentary seat, which includes both Buckie and Keith.

The party says it has acted to suspend Mr Brown after receiving a complaint about his social media activities.

Speaking today, the 61-year-old who lives in Banchory said: “I was working until 10pm last night, so the first I heard about any of this was this morning. That’s when my agent messaged me to say there was horrendous news and he would be ringing me in five minutes.

“I feel totally shocked.”

Mr Brown stated he then looked in his emails to see he’d received a message at 7.23pm yesterday evening.

This was addressed to “Anthony AB Brown” rather than “Andy Brown” and was sent by the Labour Party’s Governance and Legal Unit.

Attached was a correctly addressed and titled letter which informed him he’d been suspended following a complaint.

The letter added that an investigation would take place.

However the allegations were not specified to Brown, beyond that they were related to social media.

According to media reports, they are as follows:

Firstly, in 2018, Mr Brown shared a link to a Russia Today report which denied Vladimir Putin had any involvement in the Salisbury poisonings.

Secondly, Mr Brown shared a social media post which implied Theresa May, who was Prime Minister at the time, was hiding information about the attacks.

He said: “It’s all lies. It’s nonsense. I have never supported Vladimir Putin.

“I think they must have the wrong person.”

Mr Brown said he couldn’t remember a third allegation regarding Jeremy Corbyn, the former Labour leader.

This claims that, in April 2018, he shared 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".

Mr Brown worked for Aberdeen City Council for 37 years before leaving to take care of his ill father.

A church elder, he is now employed at the Banchory branch of Morrisons.

He said: “I am devastated. I feel like I’m the victim of a dirty tricks campaign.”

A Scottish Labour spokesperson said: “Andy Brown has been administratively suspended from the Labour Party pending investigation. We have taken the decision to withdraw support from a Parliamentary candidate during a General Election.

“Anas Sarwar and Keir Starmer have changed the Labour Party and said that every candidate and MP would operate to the highest standards. This action shows that they meant it.”

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