Labour Launches Fresh Attack On Rishi Sunak Despite Tweet Row

Labour has stepped up its attacks on Rishi Sunak by claiming he does not want thieves to be punished.

The latest move comes despite fierce criticism of an earlier ad accusing the prime minister of not wanting child sex offenders to be jailed.

And it follows a second tweet which said Sunak did not want to imprison adults convicted of gun possession.

The latest online graphic, which again features a picture of the PM alongside his signature, says: “Do you think thieves should be punished? Rishi Sunak doesn’t.”

It adds: “Under the Tories, only 180 of the 4,500 thefts a day will see someone charged this year.”

HuffPost UK revealed yesterday that Labour was planning to step up its personal attacks on Sunak despite widespread condemnation of the tweet about child sexual assault.

In an unusual move, Twitter has added a “context” note making clear the Tories do not want to end the jailing of child sex offenders.

Critics of the campaign included former shadow chancellor John McDonnell, who said Labour is “better than this”.

Shadow culture secretary Lucy Powell also repeatedly refused to say she agreed with the ad when quizzed about it yesterday.

But appearing on Radio Four’s Any Questions programme last night, shadow attorney general Emily Thornberry said: “I heard a lot of people criticising it, and a lot of people who I like and respect criticising it and saying they felt very uncomfortable about it. Some people said that they thought it was racist.

“I have to say, I think they’re wrong. I just disagree with that. I think the truth is we do need to have a debate in this country, and Rishi Sunak is the Prime Minister and he is responsible for a broken justice system.”

Asked if she genuinely thinks Sunak held these views, Thornberry said: “If he believes that everyone responsible for child abuse should get a custodial sentence, why are so many not getting a custodial sentence?”

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