British Candidate on Rape: 'A Woman of Low Morals Is More Likely to Consent to Sex, and To Lie'

A woman drinker slumps on the pavement in Bristol, England, on February 5, 2005. Matt Cardy/Getty

A Conservative candidate in the upcoming British general election has said that a woman's "promiscuity" is relevant when determining whether she was raped or consented to sex.

The comments by Peter Cuthbertson, who is running in a marginal seat in the northeastern English town of Darlington, were made in a blog post he wrote in the early 2000s, as reported Wednesday by The Guardian.

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In one post from 2002, Cuthbertson was commenting on new laws proposed following high-profile revelations that a television personality in the U.K. had been raped.

"New laws proposed by the government to cash in on public sympathy over the Ulrika Johnson rape case will now require that men accused of date-rape prove they ensured the woman in question gave her consent," he said. "In other words, any man who cannot prove his innocence will be convicted. Worse, defendants will now be restricted in bringing up the woman's sexual history."

He added, "Of course, it is relevant how promiscuous a woman is in determining how likely it was she consented. Some say—rightly—that it is unfair that the defendant should have his own sexual history kept secret but the victim have hers brought up in court. But this lack of symmetry can best be tackled by examining the sexual history of both defendant and accuser, rather than neither."

He attempted to explain his position by saying "a woman of low morals is more likely to consent to sex, and to lie."

In another post, about statistics showing high rates of sexually transmitted infections among girls younger than 16, Cuthbertson argued that girls were making a deliberate choice not to use contraception.

"The reason they don't on the whole seem to bother is the same as the reason they mate like animals in the first place: No one hopes for or demands anything better from them than that they conform to the most base instincts for instant gratification," he said.

The 33-year-old, who was still a teenager at the time the blog posts were written, told The Guardian that he "definitely does not have all the same views as my adolescent self."

Cuthbertson, who ran unsuccessfully for the same seat two years ago, is attempting to overturn a narrow Labour Party majority in Darlington when Brits head to the polls for a snap election called by Prime Minister Theresa May for June 8. But Labour has already said he should withdraw from the race.

Labour's national election coordinator, Andrew Gwynne, said the blog posts were "absolutely shocking."

He added, "Peter Cuthbertson clearly has no place in Parliament and should stand down immediately. Theresa May should be far more careful about picking who should be in her supposed team."