What rank hypocrisy, Emily: MP Thornberry slams Donald Trump
What rank hypocrisy, Emily: MP Thornberry slams Donald Trump in astonishing radio outburst – but just look at the scandal your party is covering up, says SIMON WALTERS
- Shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry said Trump was a ‘sexual predator’
- She said he did not deserve the honour of this week’s state visit to the UK
- She was criticised by a Tory MP who referenced Labour’s current scandal over not suspending John Prescott’s son David, accused of sexual misconduct
Labour’s Emily Thornberry was criticised yesterday after she said Donald Trump did not ‘deserve the honour’ of a state visit.
The shadow foreign secretary launched a volley of insults, branding the US President a ‘sexual predator’ and a ‘racist’ who ‘grabbed women and boasted about it’.
She told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘A state visit is an honour and we don’t think this president deserves an honour.
‘The truth is, he has tried to close borders with Muslim-majority countries, he is caging small Mexican children, he has grabbed women and boasted about it.
‘He is a sexual predator, he is a racist and it’s right to say that. We need to think about when is it our country got so scared?’
Ms Thornberry made her comments on Radio 4 before addressing a rally yesterday (pictured)
David Prescott, seen here with father John, has been accused of sexual misconduct
Her comments came after London Mayor Sadiq Khan said a red carpet should not be rolled out for Mr Trump and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn snubbed a state dinner with him.
Responding to her remarks, Tory MP Andrew Bridgen said: ‘It’s a bit rich given Labour’s track record on racism and its failure to deal with sexual predators in its own party.’
He then added: ‘Corbyn is a man who calls the IRA, Hamas and Hezbollah his friends – but refuses to have dinner with the democratically elected leader of the free world.’
Labour is currently embroiled in a crisis over the blocking of a suspension of John Prescott’s son, David, who has been accused of making ‘unwarranted sexual advances’ towards a young party MP.
Mr Prescott, whose father John was deputy prime minister under Tony Blair, denies all of the allegations.
Labour said it does not comment on individual staffing matters, but takes all complaints ‘extremely seriously’.
Just look at the scandal your party is covering up, Emily
By Simon Walters for the Daily Mail
For rank hypocrisy, it is hard to beat Emily Thornberry’s justification of Labour’s boycott of Donald Trump’s state visit.
The shadow foreign secretary claimed the decision by her boss, Jeremy Corbyn, to snub the Buckingham Palace banquet and protest in London’s streets against the visit was because, among many other malfeasances, Trump was a ‘sexual predator.’ (Although, for his part, the US President claimed he turned down Corbyn’s request for a private meeting).
It is true that Trump has often been accused of sexual harassment. Indeed, a leaked tape dating back to 2005 showed he had boasted he could ‘do anything’ to women and even ‘grab ‘em by the p***y’.
The shadow foreign secretary hit out at Donald Trump yesterday but her party has its own issues with the handling of sexual misconduct cases
But he has never been accused of anything to compare with one of the alleged acts of sexual misconduct by a key Corbyn aide that has triggered an understandable mass revolt by Labour officials.
More than 100 Labour members of staff wrote to Corbyn this week to demand that he get the party’s ‘house in order’ over sexual harassment. This follows claims that the Labour leader’s office blocked the suspension of former deputy prime minister Lord Prescott’s son, David Prescott, 49, a confidant of Corbyn, following multiple allegations of sexual harassment.
Prescott Junior has been accused by a young female Labour MP of making ‘unwanted sexual advances’ in November 2017. According to reports, Corbyn’s chief of staff, Karie Murphy, intervened personally to overturn a recommendation to suspend Prescott’s Labour membership.
Prescott denies all the allegations and Labour says no formal complaint was pursued and that Prescott returned to his role in the Labour leader’s office.
However, it is not the first time he has faced such claims. Accusations of a similar type date back to the late-1990s when his father, John, was a kingpin in the Blair government.
In 2008, I reported how the young Prescott was said to have gone to the home of a female Labour aide and her female house-mate after attending a party function. He got involved in an altercation with the pair outside their house and allegations were made against him which were reported to Labour officials.
Prescott told me the claims were ‘absolutely untrue’ and that he was the victim of a smear campaign.
Now, though, it has emerged that the same woman MP who claimed that Prescott sexually harassed her in 2017 has passed further details to Corbyn’s office regarding the alleged 1990s incident. Shockingly, it was reported that Prescott was said to have ‘defecated on the floor in revenge’ when the two women ‘refused’ to have sex with him.
The allegations have been the subject of gossip in Labour circles for years and were reported by the Labour-supporting New Statesman magazine.
David Prescott. In 2008 the New Stateman reported mysteriously that it was sure there was an ‘innocent explanation’ for claims surrounding ‘a bizarre tale involving an unwanted gift plopped on the north London kitchen floor of a woman now working in the government’
In 2008, the magazine referred to ‘the muffled sound of bones rattling in the cupboard of David Prescott’. It reported mysteriously that it was sure there was an ‘innocent explanation’ for claims surrounding ‘a bizarre tale involving an unwanted gift plopped on the north London kitchen floor of a woman now working in the government.’
It goes without saying that the Labour Party claims to have a zero tolerance policy to sexism and bullying. Labour MP Jess Phillips has been widely praised for highlighting the problem in the party, saying that Left-wing men are ‘the worst, the actual worst’. She has said that although Left-wing men say they want equality, ‘they don’t think of [women] on the same level’.
David Prescott has spent much of his adult life trying – and failing – to step into his famous father’s shoes. He has failed six times to be elected as an MP. The first attempt, in 2010, saw him try to take over when his father stepped down as Hull East MP. But David Prescott was rejected as a candidate by the local party.
He had previously been dogged by controversy in 2006 when it emerged that while working for a public relations firm which had Labour government contracts, he obtained a Commons pass from his father, the deputy PM.
This was shortly after John Prescott was involved in a sex scandal of his own. He had a secret extra-marital affair with Whitehall secretary Tracey Temple who said they had sex in his Whitehall office and in a hotel room while his wife was downstairs.
With Emily Thornberry’s hypocritical comments about snubbing Trump for being a sexual predator, she is simply following a pattern of behaviour that reeks of double standards.
Last year, despite her self-styled feminist credentials, she repeatedly refused to condemn her Labour colleague John McDonnell for calling for a female Tory Cabinet minister to ‘be lynched’. Challenged to disown him, she replied bluntly: ‘I ain’t gonna answer.’
The complaint was made to Jeremy Corbyn (pictured today at an anti-Trump rally) but was not followed up in writing by the complainant
Miss Thornberry, who lives in a £3million house in Islington with her judge husband, Sir Christopher Nugee, also came under fire after it emerged that she made more than £500,000 profit buying a former housing association property for her brother to live in.
This was despite Labour policy to oppose such releases of social housing stock on to the private market. She was only restored to the opposition front bench after a period of disgrace for having made an appallingly snobbish comment about a picture of a house adorned with three England flags and a white van parked outside during a by-election.
When it comes to bullying, she faced further criticism for failing to intervene when Commons Speaker John Bercow was accused of bullying his own staff. She was condemned for ‘protecting’ the anti-Brexit Bercow because he was helping Labour’s campaign to block Theresa May’s Brexit deal.
Unlike many of her Labour predecessors – such as Betty Boothroyd, Jennie Lee, Clare Short and Harriet Harman – who had to fight boorish male behaviour in Westminster and deal with sexual predators whose dreadful actions were glossed over by party officials, Miss Thornberry lives in an age when laws are now much more effective.
Today, there are proper disciplinary procedures to counter such men and, thankfully, women are much more likely to be believed when they complain of attacks than they were in the past.
Defending her ‘sex predator’ rant against Mr Trump, Miss Thornberry said: ‘Why can’t we start saying things as they are? It’s like the way you deal with a bully. If you bow down in front of them, you get kicked harder.’
However, given the Labour Party’s lax way of dealing with those accused of a range of disgraceful behaviour – such as men urging violence against women, an MP describing gay men as ‘poofters’ and ‘fudge packers’, a member calling for a woman MP to be killed and a host of awful examples of anti-Semitism – it should stop accusing Mr Trump of historic incidents of being a sexual predator and start to practise what Emily Thornberry preaches.
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