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:
I’m very sorry my last tweet offended some people. I intended it as a light-hearted remark.
— Helen Goodman (@HelenGoodmanMP) July 17, 2014
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:
@HelenGoodmanMP a slap in the face for all women. When they suceed you put them down. Nothing light hearted about it.
— Simon B (@Simon_Omega) July 17, 2014