The Tory candidate for Norwich North has apologised for a social media post in which he labelled people "idle benefit scroungers". 

In a now-deleted post on X - formerly known as Twitter - Nick Rose claimed many people across Norwich North were "supportive of Rishi Sunak and the Conservatives for hard work reducing inflation, and for pushing idle benefits scroungers back into work". 

Eastern Daily Press: The now-deleted post on XThe now-deleted post on X (Image: Newsquest)

The tweet was posted on Saturday afternoon and featured images of fellow Tories, taken during two days of canvassing across the constituency.

Asked about the deleted post, Mr Rose said: "I posted my tweet on Saturday after Sprowston residents told me they were pleased the government was imposing stricter benefit sanctions.

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"They spoke to me about the 'idle benefits scroungers' they knew who could be at work.

"As I fully agreed with them, I used their words, and I stand by them.

Eastern Daily Press: Mr Rose was selected in OctoberMr Rose was selected in October (Image: Norwich Conservatives)

"For example, [as a landlord] I had a tenant who was getting paid Universal Credit, housing benefit and council tax.

"They were perfectly capable of working, but instead they robbed a shop, sold drugs from my property, sub-let my rooms and had the foodbank deliver food to them."

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Mr Rose is hoping to extend the Tories' 14-year control of Norwich North as Chloe Smith's replacement during next year's general election.

But the army veteran swiftly came under fire last month as the Green Party called for him to stand down just hours after his selection over his controversial beliefs on man-made climate change.

Eastern Daily Press: Mr Rose deleted the tweet before posting this the following dayMr Rose deleted the tweet before posting this the following day (Image: Newsquest)

Speaking further on his social media post, he added: "I absolutely support the Conservatives' £2.5bn Back to Work Plan because it will help stop the billions of pounds from hard working people’s taxes being lost to benefit fraud.

"It will also give over a million people the help they need to get off benefits and move into work.

"I deleted my post because it had photos of colleagues in it, and I was wrong and am sorry to have associated them with my personal comments."