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Tory donors dig deep to help Mansfield MP after Jeremy Corbyn spy row

The money was revealed on Mr Bradleys parliamentary register of interests.
The money was revealed on Mr Bradleys parliamentary register of interests.

Two millionaires have stepped in to help pay Mansfield MP’s huge legal bill after he admitted making false claims against Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Ben Bradley said he could not afford the “substantial” legal costs that he agreed to pay after falsely accusing Mr Corbyn of “selling British secrets to Communist spies” in a tweet.

The amount has not been disclosed, but Mr Bradley said he had been forced to take out a loan and seek financial assistance to pay the money, which will go to charity.

The money will be split between two charities of Mr Corbyn’s choosing, a homelessness cause and a food bank.

Mr Bradley, who become Mansfield’s first Conservative MP at last June’s general election, said: “It is a substantial amount of money, that I didn’t have. I did ask for help, but I have still paid a substantial amount out of my own pocket.”

He has since apologised again on Twitter, writing “I made a defamatory statement about Mr Corbyn”, and said he has learnt an expensive lesson.

The original tweet followed claims – later discredited – that Mr Corbyn was in contact with a Czech intelligence agent in the 1980s during the Cold War.

David Brownlow and Tory party chief executive Sir Mick Davis together handed over £15,000 in donations for “help with legal costs”.

The money was revealed on Mr Bradley’s parliamentary register of interests.

Mr Bradley, who earns an annual salary in excess of £77,000 as an MP, said: “I have had to take a substantial loan. My house has been put at risk for a very expensive tweet.”

He said he struggled to find the amount as he has not “been in the job that long”.