Labour front-bencher says ‘cowardly bullying’ Wilson ‘actively promoting racism’ – requests investigation into ‘particular problem’ in ‘funny tinge’ Smith’s office and urges ‘firm disciplinary action’
Labour’s Shadow Women and Equalities Secretary Dawn Butler has called on LibDem leader Jo Swinson to investigate new LibDem recruit Angela Smith’s office for a ‘particular problem’ with racism, after Smith’s husband Steve Wilson tweeted that Butler had made up racism that she had suffered in Parliament.
Wilson – a former Labour councillor who quit when his wife defected to form the ill-fated ‘Independent Group’ – was forced to apologise after publicly denigrating Butler’s account of an incident in a Commons lift in her early days as an MP, when she was told “this lift isn’t for cleaners”.
However, Ms Butler has not accepted the apology – which Wilson did not make to her directly – and has tweeted a copy of a letter she has sent to Swinson, in which she:
- accuses Wilson of ‘intimidation and cowardly bullying’ and of ‘gaslighting’ her
- says that the MP’s husband’s conduct is ‘actively promoting racism’
- recalls the outrage triggered by Angela Smith’s racist ‘funny tinge’ comment on the day of the Independent Group launch and asks Swinson to investigate immediately whether the two incidents demonstrate a ‘particular problem’ of racism in Smith’s office
- asks Swinson to ‘take firm disciplinary action’ against Wilson
Ms Butler’s tweet accompanying the letter reads:
Dear @joswinson please find below my letter emailed to you yesterday. I hope you will take seriously the racist trope, trolling and gaslighting by a @LibDems member. Especially as he works for his wife, a Lib Dem MP, who referred to people like me as having [a] “funny tinge”
Ms Butler told the SKWAWKBOX:
I am urging Jo Swinson to investigate this incident.
Swinson has not yet responded to Ms Butler’s letter.
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