Police are investigating whether a UKIP European election candidate broke the law by suggesting he “might” rape a Labour MP.
Carl Benjamin, who had previously said he “wouldn’t even rape” Jess Phillips, posted an online video suggesting that “with enough pressure I might cave”.
After announcing a list of spoof UKIP policies, including invading Spain and restoring the British Empire, Benjamin said in a video posted on his YouTube channel: “There’s been an awful lot of talk about whether I would or wouldn’t rape Jess Phillips.
“I’ve been in a lot of trouble for my hardline stance of not even raping her. I suppose with enough pressure I might cave. But let’s be honest, nobody’s got that much beer.”
A West Midlands Police spokesman said: “Police have received a report of malicious communications relating to MP Jess Phillips.
“Officers have spoken to Ms Phillips and the comments are being investigated to establish if an offence has taken place.”
Ms Phillips, who represents Birmingham Yardley, told the BBC that she “cried in the street” when she found out about the comments.
She said: “I realised that I did what all women do in these situations, I had been putting a brave face on it and pretending that it was all fine and that I can cope.
“It dawned on me that, for four years essentially, this man had made a career out of harassing me. And I felt harassed.
“I felt, ‘how can somebody say that they would rape me if forced and be a legitimate candidate in an election?'”
She said it was “one thing when he was just some idiot off the internet” but now “it’s a different thing when he is standing on the same platforms I am standing on, that he will potentially go to a parliament himself as an elected representative”.
“I cannot believe our system is so weak at the moment that’s allowed to happen.”
A number of female politicians sent messages of support to Ms Phillips in the wake of the remarks.
Luciana Berger, a former Labour colleague, offered “solidarity”, while fellow Labour MP Lisa Nandy said: “Such admiration for @jessphillips.”
Change UK MP Anna Soubry wrote: “Proud to standby you Jess and send you love and support.”