BBC host Steph McGovern apologises for Boris Johnson jibe: 'Let's see who's in the job longest'

‘BBC Breakfast’ presenter made remark after prime minister used ‘girly swot’ insult

Catherine Wylie
Saturday 14 September 2019 18:36
Comments
BBC host Steph McGovern makes jibe at Boris Johnson: 'Let's see who's in their job the longest'

Broadcaster Steph McGovern has apologised for making a “light-hearted remark” following a speech by the prime minister.

The BBC Breakfast presenter, who is on maternity leave, was hosting the Convention of the North in Rotherham where Boris Johnson was speaking.

After encouraging the crowd to applaud Mr Johnson, she said: “I’d just like to point out I am a girly swot and I’m proud of it. Let’s see who’s in the job the longest.”

It emerged last week that Mr Johnson wrote that David Cameron is a “girly swot” on a private cabinet paper.

The incident came days after Mr Johnson used similar language in the Commons, calling Jeremy Corbyn a “big girl’s blouse” over the Labour leader’s decision not to back the prime minister’s bid for an election while the risk of a no-deal Brexit remained.

Writing on Twitter on Friday afternoon, McGovern sad: “At a non BBC event I was hosting today, I made a light hearted remark after the prime minister’s speech. Sorry that this caused offence to some. That was absolutely not my intention.”

Last week, Labour’s Yvette Cooper criticised Mr Johnson for his use of language.

“Good grief. The prime minister of Great Britain thinks he’s still back at Eton – ‘girly swot,’ ‘big girl’s blouse’ – what century is he in if the word ‘girl’ is one of his staple insults?,” she tweeted.

Dawn Butler, Labour’s shadow women and equalities minister, said of the PM: “It’s no wonder that with such outdated, racist and misogynistic views, he oversees a party that has systematically made the lives of women in the UK harder.

“By 2020, women will have been hit by 87 percent of social security cuts.

“With a prime minister like Boris Johnson, what hope is there for the advancement of women’s rights?”

The BBC declined to comment on the remarks made by McGovern, but said she is allowed to carry out external engagements while on maternity leave.

PA

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in