Mo made tea for Clinton to take mickey, she says

Click to follow
Indy Politics

Mo Mowlam faced fresh controversy last night after she claimed she made tea for President Bill Clinton to take the mickey out of him and defuse tension during the Northern Ireland peace talks.

Mo Mowlam faced fresh controversy last night after she claimed she made tea for President Bill Clinton to take the mickey out of him and defuse tension during the Northern Ireland peace talks.

The Minister for the Cabinet Office also told a fringe meeting at the Labour Party conference that she believed extreme republicans and loyalists were "normal" human beings whose beliefs caused them "to kill people".

The Tories immediately seized on Ms Mowlam's remarks as evidence of her unsuitability as Northern Ireland Secretary and said her language proved why she had upset so many Unionists.

A biography of Ms Mowlam said she was so upset at being excluded by Tony Blair from key periods of the Good Friday Agreement talks that she resorted to making tea for President Clinton and others.

Julia Langdon's book, which was read and checked by the former Northern Ireland Secretary before publication, claimed she told the US President: "Don't you know, I'm the tea lady around here?"

When asked about the incident at a Charter 88 fringe meeting, Ms Mowlam said her main intention had been to put all sides at ease during the knife-edge talks.

"One of the ways you get people to break down their ego and neuroses is to deal with them as human beings," she said. "One of the difficulties in the past with extreme republicans and loyalists was that people treated them with kid gloves. Whether republican or loyalist, you breathe, you shit, you're normal, apart from your ideology and beliefs, which causes you to kill people.

"I used to do weird things. Yes, I used to make tea when working late night on the Good Friday Agreement. I used to wander around with chips and get Chinese takeaways. Making tea for Clinton was just to take the piss out of him."

But Andrew MacKay, the shadow Northern Ireland secretary, said: "Such comments cannot help and illustrate why many people in Northern Ireland found Mo Mowlam's style not really conducive to taking the process forward."

Comments