A Labour MP has apologised after saying Rochdale pensioner Gillian Duffy ‘was a bigoted woman’ – echoing the remark made by Gordon Brown in 2010.
Stockton North MP Alex Cunningham said the former Prime Minister was right to brand the lifelong Labour voter a bigot, saying he felt that Mr Brown had been ‘too grovelling and apologetic.’
‘She was a bigoted woman and that’s all there is to it,’ he added.
Mr Cunningham issued an apology after a recording of his comments, which were made at a Labour fundraising event earlier this month, came to light.
‘What I said was wrong and cannot be excused,’ he said.
‘I will be writing to Mrs Duffy to offer a sincere and personal apology.’
But the Conservatives were quick to seize on Mr Cunningham’s error.
‘Behind the phony public statements, this shows nothing has changed when it comes to Labour’s attitude to immigration,’ said Tory MP Priti Patel.
Responses on social media were mixed, with some users saying both Mr Brown and Mr Cunningham were right to call Mrs Duffy a bigot.
While others called for stronger action than an apology.
So Lab MP Alex Cunningham issued an apology after saying Brown was right to brand Gillian Duffy a “bigot”. Don’t apologise, resign instead!—
Wight Compass (@wightcompass) May 30, 2014
Mr Brown infamously made the gaffe during the 2010 general election campaign, after Mrs Duffy confronted him on Labour’s immigration policy.
The then Labour leader, who forgot he was still wearing a microphone, told an aide that Mrs Duffy was ‘just a sort of bigoted woman’.
30 May 2014 | 7:25 pm – Source: metro.co.uk