MP Ben Bradley apologises for Corbyn tweet

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Ben Bradley MP

A Tory MP has apologised for posting a tweet in which he said Jeremy Corbyn had passed British secrets to a spy from communist Czechoslovakia.

Ben Bradley said the now deleted tweet was "wholly untrue and false".

He will also donate an undisclosed sum to a charity supported by the Labour leader and has agreed not to repeat the allegation.

Labour had said a Sun story about Mr Corbyn having contact with a Czech spy in the 1980s was "absurd".

Labour said Mr Bradley agreed to tweet an apology that says: "On 19 February 2018 I made a seriously defamatory statement on my Twitter account, 'Ben Bradley MP (@bbradleymp)', about Jeremy Corbyn, alleging he sold British secrets to communist spies.

"I have since deleted the defamatory tweet. I have agreed to pay an undisclosed substantial sum of money to a charity of his choice, and I will also pay his legal costs.

"I fully accept that my statement was wholly untrue and false. I accept that I caused distress and upset to Jeremy Corbyn by my untrue and false allegations, suggesting he had betrayed his country by collaborating with foreign spies.

"I am very sorry for publishing this untrue and false statement and I have no hesitation in offering my unreserved and unconditional apology to Jeremy Corbyn for the distress I have caused him."

He had been threatened with legal action over his tweet.

Mr Bradley will make a donation to a foodbank and a homeless charity in his Mansfield constituency.

A spokesperson for Mr Corbyn said: "We are pleased Ben Bradley has admitted what he said was entirely untrue and apologised, and that charities in Mansfield will benefit.

"Following the botched smear campaign against Jeremy, this case shows we are not going to let dangerous lies go unchallenged."