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Labour leader Ed Miliband has called on the Prime Minister to condemn Romford MP Andrew Rosindell’s statement of “huge admiration” for former Chilean dictator General Pinochet, exclusively revealed by the Recorder last week.

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“Disgraceful comment by Tory MP Andrew Rosindell who said: ‘I have huge admiration for General Pinochet.’ Cameron must condemn these words,” Mr Miliband tweeted through @EdMPress, confirmed as an official account by the Labour press office.

David Cameron is in Rio this week for the Earth Summit 2012 and was unavailable for comment.

Mr Miliband joins Labour MPs Jon Cruddas (Dagenham and Rainham) and Karl Turner (Hull East) in criticising Mr Rosindell’s remarks, made in an interview with the Recorder.

Since the story broke, it has sparked national debate, being picked up by the New Statesman and The Independent as well as bloggers like Guido Fawkes, Owen Jones and Sunny Hundal.

And Recorder readers have joined in the debate through Facebook and Twitter.

Ray Harris of Barnsbury, Islington and Goresbrook, Dagenham, commented on our website: “Obviously Andrew Rosindell believes that if you disagree with the democratic decision of the electorate then militaristic oppression of the population, with CIA arms funding, is wholly acceptable. […] Perhaps some of those who vote for him should examine their consciences as to whether such a person is acceptable as their ‘elected’ representative.”

Londoner Josh Feldberg (@joshfeldberg) tweeted: “Tory claims he has ‘huge admiration’ for General Pinochet […] This makes me sick. My family came here to escape him!”

But some have defended Mr Rosindell. Iain Martin (@iainmartin1) said Mr Miliband’s remarks were “silly”.

“Some Tories admire [Pinochet], just like some lefties admire Castro,” he wrote.

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