Right-wing MP Ian Austin has a habit of outraging Labour supporters – and others. He has been called ‘thuggish’ and a ‘unpleasant bully’and attacked Jewish author Michael Rosen when Rosen was a guest in Parliament to consult on antisemitism.
And just last week he rewrote his history in order to attack Labour general secretary Jennie Formby, claiming that Labour had ‘dropped’ action against him for aggressive behaviour toward two fellow MPs when in fact he had been reprimanded and warned.
Last week he also attacked Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell after McDonnell described Winston Churchill as ‘more villain than hero’ because Churchill had ordered troops to open fire on striking Welsh miners. Austin revealed on Twitter that he had a statuette of the former Tory PM on his mantel at home and called Churchill the ‘greatest ever Briton’.
But it turns out Churchill is not the only Tory ex-Prime Minister for whom Austin has a soft spot.
Speaking to LBC radio, Austin described Margaret Thatcher as a ‘hero’ when asked:
Ian Austin was asked about his comments but did not respond.
There was no sense of hesitation from Austin, of any weighing up of the massive damage she did to working-class communities, nor of her own involvement in brutal attacks on striking miners.
She went to war for political expediency and that seems to be enough for him to answer without hesitation.
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