Belfast Telegraph

Lord Sugar brands Labour MPs ‘ranting women’ over Jo Cox comments backlash

The Apprentice star said he did not see why Boris Johnson should apologise.

Lord Sugar (Philip Toscano/PA)
Lord Sugar (Philip Toscano/PA)

By Laura Harding, PA Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Lord Sugar has described female MPs who criticised Boris Johnson for his comments about murdered MP Jo Cox as “ranting women”.

The Prime Minister has refused to apologise for saying that the best way to honour the Remain-supporting MP was to “get Brexit done” and has rejected calls to temper his language.

He has received criticism from Labour MPs including Paula Sherriff, Jess Phillips and Tracy Brabin.

Ms Sherriff remonstrated with the Prime Minister in the Commons chamber, saying Mr Johnson should be “ashamed” for using “offensive, dangerous language”.

She added: “We stand here, Mr Speaker, under the shield of our departed friend, with many of us in this place subject to death threats and abuse every single day”.

She told the Prime Minster they often quote his words, such as “Surrender Act, betrayal, traitor,” prompting the Prime Minister to reply: “I never heard such humbug in all my life.”

Lord Sugar wrote on Twitter: “I am not getting the reason for demanding Boris to apologise. It was the ranting women who first brought Joe Cox name up in the chamber.

“The woman in particiluar ranted like an insane person. If anyone should apologise it should be her. She was addressing the PM of the UK.”

Mrs Cox was killed by a man with far-right sympathies just days before the 2016 EU referendum.

Ms Phillips disclosed that a man had been arrested while trying to smash the windows and kick the door of her Birmingham Yardley constituency office.

While she said she would not “leap to blame” Mr Johnson for the specific incident – which saw staff lock themselves in for their own safety – she accused him of pursuing a “specific strategy” to provoke hatred.

“What he is doing is not human. It is manipulative, it is purposeful, it is his strategy. He wants people like me to be under threat,” she said.

Labour’s Tracy Brabin, who succeeded Mrs Cox as MP for Batley and Spen,  said Mr Johnson needed to remember “his words have consequences”.

“He just proved that he has no emotional intelligence, because then to say that the best thing we can do to remember Jo is ‘to get Brexit done’ when Jo was a passionate Remainer – only the day before her tragic murder she was on the Thames with her family campaigning to stay in the EU – it just seemed extraordinary,” Ms Brabin told BBC Radio 5 Live.

It is not the first time Lord Sugar has come under fire for controversial comments.

Last year a Labour MP called for his sacking after The Apprentice boss tweeted a picture of the Senegal World Cup football team, comparing them with beach vendors in Marbella.

The image of the west African nation’s squad had been edited to include a picture of handbags and sunglasses laid out on sheets.

Shortly before deleting the tweet, Lord Sugar wrote: “I recognise some of these guys from the beach in Marbella. Multi tasking resourceful chaps.”

Dawn Butler MP called for “swift action” and said “Racism has no place in Parliament or society.”

The BBC has been contacted for comment.

PA

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