Helen Goodman MP. Photo: Channel 5
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Labour MP slammed for "sexist" Tweet about female Tory ministers

Helen Goodman upbraided for declaring Tory women promoted to the government this week "puppets".

Labour politician Helen Goodman has come under fire for a "sexist" attack on the female Tory MPs newly promoted to the Cabinet.

The shadow minister for media gave her backing to a widely derided Daily Mail spread that focused on the clothing and appearance of the women appointed to the government in this week's reshuffle.

Referencing the article about the "battle of the Downing St catwalk", she tweeted:

Goodman, MP for Bishop Auckland in County Durham, has since apologised and deleted the Tweet:

Her initial sentiments have provoked outrage in Westminster and on social media, however.

Deputy chair of the Conservative party Sarah Newton has written to Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman this afternoon demanding disciplinary action against Goodman by Labour. She wrote:

This disgraceful and demeaning slur damages not only those Conservative MPs referred to, but all women in politics.

Ms Goodman is a member of your Shadow Ministerial team. It is therefore incumbent upon you either to condemn her remarks, or pass the matter to Ed Miliband to take disciplinary action.

Ms Goodman must make a full and personal apology to all those Conservative MPs that she smeared, and both you and Ed Miliband must make clear that her comment was utterly unacceptable.

Given that you have devoted much of your political career to advancing the cause of women in public life, it will be deeply disappointing if you ignore Ms Goodman’s repulsive remarks.

Conservative minister for women Nicky Morgan said it showed that Labour is "weak" that "it took two hours for her to delete her comments and no proper apology has been made."

Anna Soubry, another Tory MP, added that the comment was "deliberately insulting".

Members of the public have also rebuked Goodman for her words. One man tweeted:

Lucy Fisher writes about politics and is the winner of the Anthony Howard Award 2013. She tweets @LOS_Fisher.

 

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What did Jeremy Corbyn really say about Bin Laden?

He's been critiqued for calling Bin Laden's death a "tragedy". But what did Jeremy Corbyn really say?

Jeremy Corbyn is under fire for describing Bin Laden’s death as a “tragedy” in the Sun, but what did the Labour leadership frontrunner really say?

In remarks made to Press TV, the state-backed Iranian broadcaster, the Islington North MP said:

“This was an assassination attempt, and is yet another tragedy, upon a tragedy, upon a tragedy. The World Trade Center was a tragedy, the attack on Afghanistan was a tragedy, the war in Iraq was a tragedy. Tens of thousands of people have died.”

He also added that it was his preference that Osama Bin Laden be put on trial, a view shared by, among other people, Barack Obama and Boris Johnson.

Although Andy Burnham, one of Corbyn’s rivals for the leadership, will later today claim that “there is everything to play for” in the contest, with “tens of thousands still to vote”, the row is unlikely to harm Corbyn’s chances of becoming Labour leader. 

Stephen Bush is editor of the Staggers, the New Statesman’s political blog.