Michael Gove rebuked over Weinstein sex joke

28 Oct

The Environment Secretary was appearing on a 60th anniversary edition of the BBC’s flagship Today programme aired before a live audience.

Asked by host John Humphrys about the challenge of facing an interview on the show, Mr Gove replied: “Sometimes I think that coming into the studio with you John is a bit like going into Harvey Weinstein’s bedroom.”

The BBC tweeted a picture of Michael Gove with John Humphreys and Lord Kinnock

Hear Michael Gove’s joke about sex assault. He is seen here with Lord Kinnock and John Humphrys. Pic: BBC

The remark was met with laughter and some applause from the audience at London’s Wigmore Hall.

Former Labour leader Lord Kinnock, who was appearing also appearing as a guest on the show, said: “John goes way past groping…way past groping.”

“You just pray that you emerge with your dignity intact,” Mr Gove added.

He later apologised on Twitter, posting: “Apologies for my clumsy attempt at humour on R4 Today this morning -it wasn’t appropriate. I’m sorry and apologise unreservedly.”

Labour MPs Jess Phillips and Stella Creasy are among those criticising Mr Gove’s comments.

Ms Phillips tweeted: “Michael Gove just left the studio without his dignity.”

Ms Creasy posted: “This look didn’t work for james corden…gove joking about sexual assault just as crass too…”

The controversy comes just a day after the Prime Minister expressed her concern over reports of a culture of sexual harassment at Westminster.

:: Theresa May finds Westminster sexual harassment claims ‘deeply concerning’

According to The Sun, a WhatsApp group of female employees at Westminster is used to warn members about MPs and other senior figures from across the political parties.

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