Wednesday, October 14, 2015

UK: Must not comment on the ethnicity of politicians' wives

A Labour MP triggered fury last night after questioning why Jeremy Hunt’s Chinese wife had come to Britain.

Helen Goodman faced a backlash over an apparent response to the Tory minister’s suggestion that tax credit cuts could encourage Britons to work as hard as people in fast-growing Asian economies.

Miss Goodman, MP for Bishop Auckland, tweeted: ‘If China is so great, why did Jeremy Hunt‘s wife come to England?’

Her remarks were described as deeply offensive and ‘bizarre’ last night – and come just weeks after Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called for a ‘kinder’ politics and an end to online abuse from Twitter trolls.

Urging British workers to copy the work ethic of the Chinese and Americans, Health Secretary Mr Hunt had told a fringe event at the Tory conference last Tuesday that his wife, Lucia, was Chinese and he knew China well.

The Hunts have three children but the minister has kept his family largely out of the limelight. Miss Goodman, 57, who was shadow minister for welfare reform under Ed Miliband, responded six days later via social media.

The time-lapse caused some observers to wonder if her Twitter account had been hacked.

Nadhim Zahawi, a Tory MP who works on policy for No10, called on her to apologise, tweeting: ‘Helen that is a terrible thing to say I hope you delete and apologise to Mrs Hunt. have you been hacked?’

Labour peer and former MEP Lord Cashman tweeted: ‘Helen this is not an acceptable tweet. As politicians we are fair game, not our partner nor their origins.’

Labour’s leader in the Lords, Baroness Smith, called the remarks bizarre and said she should apologise.

A Labour spokesman said last night: ‘This does not represent the views of the Labour Party.

‘Helen will be reminded of her responsibilities as an elected Labour politician.’

Late last night, Miss Goodman finally deleted her tweet and said: ‘Wish to absolutely apologise for earlier tweet.’



Anonymous said...

While the question is legitimate the answer is so obvious only a cretin would ask it.


Bird of Paradise said...

Whiny whinIg liberals WHINE,WHINE,WHINE

Stan B said...

Wait - if one politician brings his own wife into the discussion, why is it then not "fair game" for another politician to respond in kind? Oh, sorry, that's Liberal for "fair."