Theresa May demands John McDonnell apologises for 'lynching' comments about Esther McVey

Posted On: 
7th February 2018

Theresa May has called on John McDonnell to apologise to Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey over remarks he made about her being “lynched”.

Theresa May appearing at Prime Minister's Questions this afternoon Theresa May appearing at Prime Minister's Questions this afternoon
Credit: 
PA

At Prime Minister’s Questions this afternoon, Tory MP Vicky Ford accused Mr McDonnell of having “called for violence against women on this side of the House”.

Mrs May said it was time for the veteran leftwinger to say sorry for the remarks, which he made in 2014.

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“I would urge the Shadow Chancellor, once again, he keeps refusing to do this, to apologise to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions for saying she should be lynched."

The latest row comes after Mrs May pledged yesterday to bring in a new offence to stop intimidation and harassment of politicians.

The controversy stems from a recording in which Mr McDonnell recounts a trip to a political meeting in Liverpool where activists had organised a “Sack Esther McVey Day”.

“There was a whole group in the audience that completely kicked off, quite critical of the whole concept, because they were arguing ‘why are we sacking her? Why aren’t we lynching the bitch?’"  

The Shadow Chancellor has insisted he was paraphrasing comments made by other campaigners about the then Employment Minister.

He declined to apologise when asked about the remarks on the Andrew Marr Show at the end of January.

He insisted he “did not support what was happening” and that it was “for those people who made that statement if they wish to make that apology”.