Andrew Marr defends reputation of hedgehogs after animal compared to the Labour party

The broadcaster called for the endangered species to be left out of politics

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The Independent Online

It’s not every day Andrew Marr finds himself leaping to the defence of anyone, let alone the humble British hedgehog.

But the political commentator stood up for the prickly species after he felt they were unfairly compared to the Labour party.

In a column for the Telegraph titled ‘Labour has to wake up fast, or go the way of the hedgehog’, journalist Mary Riddell angered Marr when she wrote:

“Consider the sad state of the British hedgehog. Badgers, herbicides and traffic are all threatening a species now declining as fast as tigers are disappearing worldwide. The fate befalling the nation’s favourite spiny mammal is akin to the threat faced by the Labour politician. Unless trends change, both risk ending up as roadkill.”

Which led to the following four-part Twitter post, calling for hedgehogs to be left well out of it:

Riddell’s column followed Countryfile presenter Michaela Strachan’s claim that the mammals were in “critical danger” of becoming extinct in the next 10 years.

However, hedgehog conservationist Hugh Warwick labelled her warning that “complete b******s” and counterproductive to efforts to preserve the seriously threatened animals.


“We are not seeing the imminent extinction of hedgehogs and saying so is not helpful on many levels,” he told The Independent.

It also followed the Labour party’s crushing defeat at the General Election, which saw leader Ed Miliband resign, the SNP win all but four seats in Scotland and a majority Conservative government in Parliament.