UKIP candidate Carl Benjamin has once again joked that he might rape Jess Phillips and now the Labour MP is fighting back.
Benjamin, who has previously been attacked for a tweet suggesting he "wouldn't even rape" the Birmingham Yardley MP in 2016, has now posted a new video suggesting that "with enough pressure, I might cave".
In the footage, posted to his YouTube channel Sargon of Akkad on 26 April, Benjamin says to camera:
There's been an awful lot of talk about whether I would or wouldn't rape Jess Phillips. I've been in a lot of trouble for my hardline stance of not even raping her.
I suppose with enough pressure I might cave. But let's be honest, nobody's got that much beer.
The video, which drew a lot of attention after it was highlighted by BuzzFeed News, was accompanied by the caption: "I disavow my own joke. Listen, Buzzfeed, it's a roast not a d***, don't take it so hard." Benjamin's YouTube account has almost one million subscribers.
Phillips has since come out denouncing the comments, questioning whether the UKIP candidate should even be allowed to stand in the European elections later this month. Speaking to BuzzFeed, the Labour MP said:
The Electoral Commission should surely have standards about who can and can't stand for election
If Facebook and Twitter can ban these people for hate speech, how is it they are allowed to stand for election?
She continued by noting that rape should, in no circumstance, be considered a joke, saying:
I don't really know what to say, as someone who works still every day with victims of rape the idea that it is funny or a joke to hear someone saying that that if forced they would rape me.
There is a childish misunderstanding that rape is about sex rather than power and violence.
Taking to Twitter, Phillips says the comments have also really upset her, asking her followers:
What do women have to do to end this s***, I'm so tired of people legitimising this stuff.
I'm normally pretty tough, I take the slings and arrows I might just be tired but when asked to comment on this I w… https://t.co/ZL65WTio0O
Once again BuzzFeed position themselves as the progressive joke police. I stand behind David Baddiel's justification about why any subject can be the subject of a joke. The alternative is a world devoid of humour, the essential tool we use to reduce the horror of events that are beyond our control.