Will Tory chairman Brandon Lewis sack vice-chairman Ben Bradley for breachiing the Conservative Pary’s code for candidates with his libel of Jeremy Corbyn? Don’t hold your breath waiting…

After his promise to apologise to Jeremy Corbyn for a vicious and baseless libel was published at lunchtime yesterday, Tory vice-chairman Ben Bradley finally published his apology – nine hours later.

No reason has been given for the delay.

Was he trying to hide it? Mr Bradley had promised to ask his followers to retweet his apology. Posting it at 10.28pm on a Saturday night, on a medium in which messages scroll off-screen very quickly, could be seen as an attempt to minimise the publicity, and therefore the damage.

Notice also that the tweet came after the main TV channels had broadcast their late-evening news programmes.

There were plenty of opportunities to publish earlier, but the tweet finally arrived three hours after This Site published an article asking where it was.

After I put out the piece, I noticed a significant number of tweets to Mr Bradley from people tweeting the link to it and asking the same question.

Was that the reason he finally published? Was he timing his tweet to be too late for mainstream news programmes? Or was he just trying to ensure that any retweets happened overnight, when hardly anybody in the UK would see them?

It doesn’t really matter because the agony should not be over yet for Mr Bradley.

In case you’ve forgotten, the Conservatives launched a new code of conduct for candidates on January 14, in which new party chairman Brandon Lewis promised that Conservative candidates would be suspended if they insult rivals.

Well, libel is about the worst insult a person can inflict on another. And former Labour deputy leader John Prescott hasn’t forgotten:

This Writer has no illusions that any suspension will happen. The new Tory code is for candidates, not sitting representatives.

But then, when Mr Lewis announced it, he tried to use it to suggest Labour’s John McDonnell should be penalised for comments he made about Esther McVey several years ago.

Sauce for the goose?

Of course, Mr McDonnell had no reason to fear censure for his comments about Ms McVey.

Her behaviour, both in the past and as the current Work and Pensions Secretary, shows she is a “stain of inhumanity”.

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