Clive Lewis: Justine Greening urges Jeremy Corbyn to condemn Labour MP's 'get on your knees' comments

Comments were apparently made as a joke at Momentum event 

Will Worley@willrworley
Friday 20 October 2017 21:56
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Clive Lewis jokes "get on your knees bitch" to a man in panel event

The Women and Equalities Minister has urged Jeremy Corbyn to condemn remarks made by Labour MP Clive Lewis.

The Norwich South politician was caught on camera saying “Get on your knees b**** to an actor at an event organised by Momentum, alongside the Labour Party conference last month.

The comments were said to have been made in jest but provoked widespread criticism from across the political spectrum.

In a letter to the Mr Corbyn, equalities minister Justine Greening said: "The recent use of language by Clive Lewis MP was totally and utterly unacceptable in the world of the 'kinder, gentler politics' you claim to support.

"Senior women in the Labour Party have understandably condemned his words, and as leader of the Labour Party, you should too."

She continued: "As Members of Parliament we should be setting an example to the country and this sexist, misogynistic language needs to be stamped out and that starts with you calling it out.

"Will you now step forward and condemn the sexist language of Clive Lewis, and the unacceptable attitudes that lie behind it, and set out how you plan to tackle misogyny in the Labour Party?"

Mr Lewis has since issued an apology, saying: “I apologise unreservedly for the language I used at an event in Brighton last month. It was offensive and unacceptable.”

But there was further criticism on Friday afternoon as chief executive of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, Rebecca Hilsenrath, said: "This is entirely extraordinary language on the part of an elected politician.

Clive Lewis jokes "get on your knees bitch" to a man in panel event

"Clive Lewis' words are highly derogatory, offensive and completely inexcusable, and we, and the women in Mr Lewis' constituency, have every right to expect our MPs to behave in a more professional manner.

"We need to see firm, robust and prompt action on the part of the Labour Party to make clear that there is no place for misogyny in the party."

Outrage from MPs also continued. Fellow Labour politician Stella Creasy tweeted: "It's not OK. Even if meant as a joke, reinforces menace that men have the physical power to force compliance."

Tory MP Mims Davies said: "Astounding inappropriate language from [Clive] Lewis I think Jess Phillips needs to get you on an URGENT training course. This must stop."

Earlier, The Independent reported that a someone in the audience said: “This is meant to be a safe space, thank you.”

But later it was claimed the remark was made as a gag.

Ash Sarkar, editor at left-wing media outlet Novara Media, said on Twitter: “I was hosting, and it was a joke you dingbat.”

A Labour Party spokesperson said: “The Labour Party condemn the language used by Clive Lewis. It was completely unacceptable and falls far short of the standard we expect of Labour MPs."

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