Respect are taking action over a fake Twitter feed claiming to be run by the party from which offensive comments were posted online in a spat with other users of the social networking site.
The @Respect4Bfd profile on Twitter shows a photo of the party’s MP, Bradford West’s George Galloway, and the words: “We are anti war, anti austerity. We believe in peace, justice and equality regardless of race, religion and gender. We represent people and not power.”
Over the weekend, after becoming embroiled in a spat with a number of Twitter users, the person behind the account resorted to swearing and posting other unsavoury comments.
Comments from Respect4BfD included: “STOP THIS NONSENSE SILLY LITTLE BOY. Stick ur1vote where the sun don’t shine.” as well as “run along Zionist Jew Tramp”.
Respect officials yesterday told the Telegraph & Argus that the account was nothing to do with the party and that it was “obviously malicious”.
Ron McKay, Respect National Secretary and advisor to Mr Galloway, has contacted the police over the matter.
In an e-mail to report the matter to police, he said: “I am sending this e-mail to you about what seems to me may involve hate crime. It is in reference to a Twitter account called @Respect4bfd which has absolutely nothing to do with the Respect party but is being passed off as such. You will see the level of abuse for yourself and it does seem to me that some of it may be illegal.”
He added: “As you will see, it appears to be a bona fide site, and is intended to be. As you will know, no doubt, it is almost impossible to persuade Twitter to take these kind of vile sites down, and if you do, another springs up in its place.”
“It is certainly designed to be helpful to the Labour party principally, in these current elections,” he continued. “I can’t begin to convey my disgust at yet another of these dirty tricks. There are some sick people out there.”
Respect has candidates contesting nine seats in this month’s local council elections.
It follows the resignation of all five Respect councillors on Bradford Council in October, who quit the part after failing to resolve a long-running row with Mr Galloway. They remain on the Council as an independent group.
All five gained their seats in 2012, following Mr Galloway’s success in the Bradford West by-election, where he gained a majority of 10,000 and a 37 per cent swing from Labour.