Tory MP Anna Soubry apologises to Nigel Farage after she says he ‘looks like somebody put their finger up his bottom’

The comment was made on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show this morning – and the pair previously clashed on Question Time last month

The Conservative MP Anna Soubry has apologised after saying Ukip leader Nigel Farage “looks like somebody has put their finger up his bottom”.

The comments were made on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show this morning, and while some viewers expressed their amusement on Twitter, others suggested “politics shouldn’t sink so low”.

The pair have a history of verbal clashes – last month after they both appeared on the BBC’s Question Time, the Ukip MEP said Ms Soubry was a “bully” who “attacked” him in a disagreement over immigration.

Today she sat on the Andrew Marr sofa alongside Lord Mandelson and Vince Cable while the comedian Rory Bremner performed a series of impressions including David Cameron and Ed Miliband.

After Mr Farage had also been impersonated, Ms Soubry said: “I always think he looks like somebody has put their finger up his bottom and he really rather likes it.”

Though she was swiftly cut off by the show’s presenter Marr, the comment soon provoked a reaction on Twitter – not least from Mr Farage himself.

He tweeted to the Sun’s political editor Tom Newton Dunn, saying “Perhaps Anna Soubry should spend less time investigating digital rectal insertion and more on her brief?”

Mr Newton Dunn later wrote: “More from @Nigel_Farage on #fingergate: “She is rude and incompetent. I would expect an apology - but I won’t be holding my breath”.

The writer Caitlin Moran joked about the exchange, saying: “Please let Nigel Farage refute Anna Soubry's accusation with a press conference where he holds up his finger, as proof.”

Yet it was taken rather more seriously by the Labour MP Barry Sheerman, who said: “The Anna Soubry comment on Nigel Farage plumbs new depths in political debate and [David] Cameron should sack her now.”

Ukip supporter David Jones, meanwhile, tweeted that the personal comments showed how: “Tories [are] seriously worried by UKIP threat.”

“Whatever you think of Anna Soubry or Nigel Farage, Soubry's comments on #marr are deeply unacceptable,” wrote the campaigner and blogger Jon Worth. “UK politics shouldn't sink so low.”

In a statement, Mr Farage said: "This is a woman who was proven to not even have a grip on her portfolio back in November when on Question Time she showed she had absolutely no idea about the Royal Navy support ships being built in South Korea.

"She also launched a vile attack on me then, claiming I was 'putting fear into people's hearts' by raising concerns over unrestricted immigration. The same concerns that today her party are so desperate to try to address.

"But this latest, remarkable foul-mouthed attack is utterly incredulous. Soubry has stooped to the levels of crudity that any politician would spend a lifetime apologising for.

"This is supposed to be a professional woman representing her political party on a national television programme on a Sunday morning. Well, I am astonished, and I would imagine the rest of her party is too, as well as deeply embarrassed."

Ms Soubry said: "If he is in any way offended, I apologise unreservedly. It was a light-hearted remark."

A No 10 source said the minister had apologised and they had nothing further to add.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Technical Presales Consultant - London - £65,000 OTE.

£65000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Technical Presales Engineer - central London ...

Recruitment Genius: Physiotherapist / Sports Therapist

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Physiotherapist / Sports Ther...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive / Advisor

£8 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives / Advisors are required...

Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Operative

£14000 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for a...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable