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YouTuber Carl Benjamin has apologised to MP Jess Phillips for his rape comments made in the past, saying: "I want to set a better example".

In 2016, Benjamin said he "wouldn't even rape" Phillips in a vicious tweet and then in 2019 posted an online video suggesting that "with enough pressure I might cave".

Benjamin, who gained a large YouTube following under the name Sargon of Akkad, failed in his bid to get elected to the European Parliament as a UKIP candidate in 2019 after his comments about Phillips were exposed.

Speaking to Steven Edginton on GBN America he said: "There's been a real change in British politics recently.

"Jess Phillips herself highlighted this at her acceptance speech for her victory in the last election, in which she points out that there's been severe coarsening in British politics.

"Honestly, it really struck a chord with me because I felt that, well, that's obviously true. She was putting on a very brave face about these things.

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"In other media interviews afterwards, she explained that she wasn't intimidated. I think it was evident that she was because there seems to be real hard edge underneath British politics now that didn't exist back when I was being very rude to Phillips.

"The issue has been the injection of foreign sectarian politics and the liberal principles that underpin British political life no longer obtain when I insulted Jess Phillips horrifically, it was against the background of stable English political life in which it was obvious to everyone involved.

"She was calling me various names like misogynist or whatever, and I was insulting towards her. It was evident that was only just going to be words.

That's all it was ever going to be and I don't think that's evident with what's happening now. I'm really concerned about it. I think that both myself and Jess have contributed to this atmosphere of political coarsening. And it occurred to me in around 2022, after the conversation I had with Peter Hitchens on the subject, that actually maybe I should apologise to her.

"Because he had pointed out that it doesn't matter whether she accepts it, because one of the reasons I haven't apologised yet is because I genuinely thought she would just throw it back in my face, it doesn't matter if she does.

"What matters is that it's the right thing to do to unconditionally apologise. I've personally been through a long period of growth and reflection. I've become a father many times over. I've got myself a good education now, and I'm a business owner and I look around now at the man that I was then, and I think about the man I am now and all of the responsibilities I have and the kind of social fabric we're living in.

"I realised that, yes, I was contributing to this. So it is with without any kind of reservation, I'd like to say I am sorry to Jess Phillips, and I shouldn't have made such a rude and obviously offensive statement.

"If she would like me to apologise in person, I'm more than happy to do so. I'm not going to explain what or make any kind of excuse for that, it was just wrong and I shouldn't have done it. And I'd like to frankly present a better example to my sons as they grow older."

Earlier this year Philips wrote a letter to former Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and asked him to deselect Liz Truss as a candidate after she appeared on Benjamin's YouTube channel.

She wrote: “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.“

She added: “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."

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