Free from fear or favour
No tracking. No cookies

MP Demands Liz Truss is Barred as Conservative Candidate as Former PM Appears on Far-Right Podcast

Labour MP writes to PM Sunak over Liz Truss appearing on Lotus Eaters, a show founded by Carl Benjamin, who stated he “wouldn’t even rape” her

Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak. Photo: PA Images

Don’t miss a story

Sign up to the Behind the Headlines newsletter (and get a free copy of Byline Times in the post)

Rishi Sunak faces calls to deselect former PM Liz Truss today as she is set to appear on far-right, conspiratorial platform Lotus Eaters – whose host once told Labour’s Jess Phillips MP he “wouldn’t even rape” her. 

The Lotus Eaters is a podcast and media platform set up by misogynistic influencer Carl Benjamin (AKA Sargon of Akkad). Benjamin first came to notoriety via his YouTube channel, which was involved in the so-called “Gamergate” phenomenon, where misogynistic video game enthusiasts mounted harassment campaigns against female game developers and journalists.

Benjamin has been dubbed a ““misogynistic influencer” by campaign group Hope not Hate. The media network has promoted the Great Replacement Theory, while panellists have claimed that the World Economic Forum is trying to control society.

Benjamin has frequently courted controversy, being banned from social platforms for the use of racial slurs and infamously stating that he “wouldn’t even rape” the Labour MP Jess Phillips. In 2018, Benjamin joined UKIP under the leadership of Gerard Batten and stood as a candidate in the 2019 European elections.

Don’t miss a story

Now Labour’s Jess Phillips has written to PM Rishi Sunak, over Liz Truss’ planned appearance on the show today (29th May). The Birmingham MP and equality campaigner writes: “The impact men like Benjamin have on politics cannot be understated. Men like Benjamin make female MPs live in fear, while discouraging women from standing in future, weakening our democracy in the process.

“You have a responsibility as leader of your Party to uphold high standards among your MPs and candidates, and you have a responsibility as Prime Minister to foster a safe environment for MPs, particularly female MPs who face ever-increasing rates of abuse and threat.”

She adds that “anyone willing to appear on this hateful platform is not suitable to be a candidate for any political party…If you have any decency, you will deselect Liz Truss as Conservative candidate for South West Norfolk. Anything less than this will show how weak you are and how far the Conservative Party has sunk.”

Byline Times needs your help to investigate disinformation and electoral exclusion as we head towards the 2024 General Election.

We’re asking for your help to keep track of dodgy campaigning this election, so if you spot anything that bears investigation, please email us at votewatch24@bylinetimes.com.

Georgie Laming, Campaigns Director at HOPE not hate said: “It is completely irresponsible for any MP or candidate to share a platform with Lotus Eaters and their band of conspiracy theorists sand far-right activists. Presenters include the right-wing reverend Calvin Robinson. 

“This isn’t the first time Liz Truss has flirted with the far-right, she must be immediately suspended from the Conservative Party.”

Swindon South Reform UK candidate Benjamin Dade was deselected as one of the party’s candidates after his work as a content creator for Lotus Eaters was exposed. He had made comments about Scots being like “a turd that won’t flush”, which he later dubbed a “joke”. He appeared to back Great Replacement Theory, adding he wanted to see “millions of foreigners and their dependents” be expelled from the country to”‘rid itself of the foreign plague we have been diseased with”, as the Swindon Advertiser reported. 

Byline Times has contacted Liz Truss’ team, and Conservative Party HQ for comment, but has not yet had a reply.  Carl Benjamin responded on X, without denying he had made those remarks to Phillips.


Letter from Jess Phillips 

Dear Prime Minister, today, former Prime Minister Liz Truss, a Conservative candidate in the upcoming general election, will be interviewed on the far-right platform ‘Lotus Eaters’, founded by Carl Benjamin, an extreme far-right commentator.

Benjamin has despicable views about violence against women. When I highlighted the volume of rape threats received by female MPs, including myself, Benjamin responded, “I wouldn’t even rape you”, later adding “There’s been an awful lot of talk about whether I would or wouldn’t rape Jess Phillips. I suppose with enough pressure I might cave, but let’s be honest nobody’s got that much beer.”

The impact men like Benjamin have on politics cannot be understated. Men like Benjamin make female MPs live in fear, while discouraging women from standing in future, weakening our democracy in the process.

You have a responsibility as leader of your Party to uphold high standards among your MPs and candidates, and you have a responsibility as Prime Minister to foster a safe environment for MPs, particularly female MPs who face ever-increasing rates of abuse and threat.

As well as these misogynistic views, Carl Benjamin has promoted the Great Replacement Theory and shared fringe conspiracy theories, such as that the World Economic Forum is trying to control society. He recently launched the group ‘Hearts of Oak’ with far-right thug Tommy Robinson.

It is clear that anyone willing to appear on this hateful platform is not suitable to be a candidate for any political party. Even Reform UK deselected one of its candidates after his harmful views and work as a content creator for Lotus Eaters was exposed.

If you have any decency, you will deselect Liz Truss as Conservative candidate for South West Norfolk. Anything less than this will show how weak you are and how far the Conservative Party has sunk.

Yours sincerely,

Jess Phillips


Byline Times is relaunching our VoteWatch project to monitor disinformation, dodgy campaigning and dark money during the General Election. Get in touch if you have a tip off or any insights: votewatch24@bylinetimes.com

If you have a political story or tip-off, email josiah@bylinetimes.com.


Written by

This article was filed under
, , , ,