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A Durham research assistant has been banned from running in local elections

He is under investigation following ‘vile and abysmal’ tweets


A Durham PhD student, Castle Pemberton Scholar and English Department research assistant has been suspended by the Conservative party in upcoming local elections following a series of derogatory tweets.

Antony Mullen, who was running as Tory candidate for Sunderland in next week's local Parish Council elections, is under investigation by the Conservative party and has been labelled 'disgraceful' by Labour candidate Zaf Iqbal.

Mr Mullen's twitter feed, which has been quickly made private, contains numerous tweets of misogynistic, classist and racist sentiment. In one tweet he claimed that "the BTEC is a necessity in our culture to separate the stupid from the intelligent".

Another stated: "I can honestly say this morning is the first time I've had to scrub off a Hitler tash with a toothbrush". Mullen also referred to a member of the public as a "fat goth girl" and "mutant", and labelled Diane Abbott (Labour Shadow Home Secretary) as a "filthy, bulbous pig".

Mullen has also been involved in slander against a rival Labour candidate, Zaf Iqbal, claiming Mr Iqbal 'liked' a Facebook post that suggests the British Government played a part in engineering last year's Manchester Terror attack, which killed over 20 people. Mr Iqbal denies these accusations.

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Last year, Mr Mullen held a lecture entiteld 'Margaret Thatcher on Pornography and Pornography'.

He is currently working on a thesis entitled 'Spectres of Thatcher'. He states that his focus is on how fictional narratives framed nationalism instead of Thatcherism's defining characteristic: economic policy. He set up The Thatcher Network, a group for researchers of Thatcher and Thatcherism.

A local Lib Dem candidate, Tim Ellis, has accused Mr Mullen of "vile and abysmal" tweets.

"They manage to be strikingly offensive towards a number of different groups: the people of Sunderland, women, ethnic minorities and those who struggle in school".

In a statement released by Durham University, who confirmed that “the views that have been reported are wholly inconsistent with Durham University’s values."

They say they are "looking into the issue".