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UNITE assistant general secretary Howard Beckett has been suspended from the Labour Party after suggesting that “disgusting” Home Secretary Priti Patel should be deported.
Mr Beckett, who is standing to replace Len McCluskey as the union’s leader, apologised for the social media message.
He made the remarks following a protest in Glasgow on Thursday against the detention of two men by Border Force officials.
Police Scotland released the Indian nationals after people surrounded the immigration enforcement van and prevented it from leaving.
Mr Beckett wrote: “Priti Patel should be deported, not refugees. She can go, along with anyone else who supports institutional racism. She is disgusting.”
He subsequently deleted the message and said that it was “never intended to be literal,” adding that “the wording was wrong” and “offensive.”
Mr Beckett said: “I apologise unreservedly to Priti Patel. No-one should be deported.”
A Labour spokesman said the party “takes these allegations extremely seriously,” defending the decision to suspend Mr Beckett, a leftwinger who had sat on the party NEC for Unite.
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