Labour MP under fire after tweeting birthday tribute to Fidel Castro

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A Labour MP’s birthday tribute to late Cuban dictator Fidel Castro has been blasted by the Tories as further evidence of the party’s “obsession with corrupt regimes”. 

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell’s parliamentary private secretary (PPS) Karen Lee tweeted “happy birthday Fidel” when she shared a message from the Cuba Solidarity Campaign.

One constituent said she was “absolutely disgusted” that her MP would commemorate Castro on Twitter while account Electable Labour wrote she should not be an apologist for “authoritarian communists”.

The Jeremy Corbyn-supporting MP’s Tweet comes just a week after the Labour leader came under fire from the Conservatives and some in his own party for not condemning violence in Venezuela under socialist President Nicolas Maduro. 

Paul Scully, Conservative MP for Sutton said: “Labour are clearly obsessed with celebrating corrupt regimes. John McDonnell’s right-hand woman would do better to focus on things closer to home like Labour’s own dismal economic plans than leaders that deny the democratic rights and freedoms of their citizens.”

Ms Lee, a former nurse who won her Lincoln seat from Tory Karl McCartney in June, shared a message from the solidarity campaign praising the Cuban revolution for its achievements in health, education, women’s rights and social justice. Castro, who would have turned 91 yesterday, has been scorned for extensive human rights abuses and state persecution of gay people.  

As Mr McDonnell’s PPS, Ms Lee is a trusted member of the shadow Treasury team. Mr Corbyn previously praised the late Cuban leader’s record on health and education. Labour said they would not comment.


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