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British woman dragged out of Tenerife pool by police is hard-left unionist rabble rouser

The selfish tourist who defied Spain’s Covid-19 lockdown to swim in a hotel pool in Tenerife can be revealed as a hard-left union rabble rouser who stood as a Labour Party candidate at the last election.

Joanne Rust, 53, from King’s Lynn, Norfolk, provoked outrage when she jumped into the waters at the Paradise Park Hotel on the holiday island last week after complaining staff had refused to upgrade her room.

The Unison Campaign Organiser, who was the Labour’s candidate for Norfolk North-West in December, was arrested for violating the strict quarantine rules imposed on all hotels across Spain.

Joanne Rust pictured here next to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn at a conference

Joanne Rust pictured here next to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn at a conference

A video of her antics posted on Facebook has been viewed more than 300,000 times.

It shows Rust swimming backstroke in the pool as hotel staff and police urge her to get out. When she refuses one officer strips down to his boxer shorts, jumps into the water and drags her out while another officer puts her in hand cuffs.

Other British holidaymakers cheer as she is arrested.

Rust, who has been photographed with Labour leader Jeremy Corbin at various events and is a Labour Councillor at King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council, was dragged away wearing only a bikini and spent the night in police custody.

Her husband Marcus Rust was forced to bring dry clothes to the police station in the popular resort of Los Cristianos for her where all hotels had been put on lockdown.

The video of Jo Rust being arrested has been viewed on Facebook more than 300,000 times

The video of Jo Rust being arrested has been viewed on Facebook more than 300,000 times

One of Jo Rust's campaign leaflets. She stood as a candidate in the last general election

One of Jo Rust’s campaign leaflets. She stood as a candidate in the last general election

She appeared in court the next day and was charged with the public order offence of resistance and disobedience towards the Spanish authorities and released on bail. The charge carries a maximum sentence of one year in jail and a heavy fine.

British tourists in Spain had been asked to stay in their rooms and avoid public areas after Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced a two-week lock-down restricting people’s movements last Saturday. 

Managers of the Paradise Park Hotel kicked Rust out because of her behaviour and she was not allowed to return.

The couple returned to Britain at the weekend.

Jo Rust seen here with other Labour supporters campaigning for the Labour party last year

Jo Rust seen here with other Labour supporters campaigning for the Labour party last year 

Rust refused to confirm or deny she was the woman in the video when questioned by MailOnline at her detached house in King’s Lynn, Norfolk.

She said simply: ‘I find the whole thing really quite upsetting and so I don’t want to engage in a discussion about it.

‘What I know is I went on holiday to a place for which a tour operator gave me no information and as a result of that I had a lost holiday.’

However she has refused to apologise for her selfish behaviour and continued to blame her British tour operators for her ‘failed holiday in the Canary Islands’.

Jo Rust seen here with her husband Marcus Rust, who is also a Labour party member, who had to bring her dry clothes to the police station the day she was arrested

Jo Rust seen here with her husband Marcus Rust, who is also a Labour party member, who had to bring her dry clothes to the police station the day she was arrested 

‘What I know is I went on holiday to a place for which a tour operator gave me no information and as a result of that I had a lost holiday.’

However she has refused to apologise for her selfish behaviour and continued to blame her British tour operators for her ‘failed holiday in the Canary Islands’.

And she accused Spanish police of ‘pushing people’ and ‘shouting’ as they ‘rigidly enforced’ social distancing, in a message she posted on social media just hours after landing.

She wrote: ‘So, we’re back in the UK after a failed holiday in the Canary Islands.

‘Our tour operator and Ryanair flew us out knowing the whole of Spain was in a National State of Emergency.

‘I tried to research whether it applied to the islands but could find no news. Wasn’t entirely sure what ‘lockdown’ would mean either.

‘I foolishly assumed if our tour operators were still sending us, it might be ok. Also, it was hard to contemplate losing all the money we’d spent on it.

‘So, we went and had to spend literally all the time in our hotel room.

‘The social distancing was rigidly enforced and the police were out in force to deal with it.

‘Pushing people up hotel stairs and shouting get in your rooms.

‘It was scary when Ryanair cancelled our flights home.

‘We had to spend more money to get an alternative that came home a day early.’

Rust did not mention that she had been arrested for breaking Spain’s quarantine rules.

This is contrast by a commitment to telling the truth she made during the 2019 election campaign.

In her campaign literature Rust wrote: ‘Jo stands for truth: Truth is a very important principle to Jo (both in life and in politics). So many of our politicians hide behind lies and deceit which is why Jo firmly believes that a good MP should be transparent, truthful and honest.’

A UNISON spokesperson said: ‘There is no excuse for reckless behaviour. We’re extremely disappointed to learn that the widely shared video features a member of UNISON staff.

‘Now the UK has also gone into lockdown, we must all abide by the rules. Irresponsible behaviour will spread the virus and place an intolerable burden on the NHS.

‘Health workers are on the front line trying to save lives. By staying home we can all do our bit and help keep them safe too.’  

The Labour Party did not reply to a request for a comment on Rust’s arrest and lack of judgement.    

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Written by Angle News

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