Campus condemns Clive

Clive Lewis, the MP for Norwich South, has faced criticism from UEA students following the emergence of video footage of him saying “get on your knees bitch” to an audience member at Labour conference.

One student union officer said Mr Lewis would be removed from the LCR if he had made the comment at UEA.

SU Welfare, Community and Diversity Officer India Edwards condemned the Norwich South MP’s remark.

Ms Edwards said: “There are no circumstances under which behaviour like this is acceptable- ‘banter’ like this, especially from someone in public office is simply Never OK. I’m proud to say that if this rally was being held in the LCR we’d have had him removed.”

The recently emerged footage, shot in Brighton last month, shows a man called up to stage, before he is told by Mr Lewis to get on his knees.

Mr Lewis has since apologised for his remark by tweeting: “I apologise unreservedly for the language I used at an event in Brighton last month. It was offensive and unacceptable.”

He followed the apology with a tweet thanking “friends, colleagues, constituents, comrades and passers-by” who had supported him since media reports of the video, published by the website Guido Fawkes.

Speaking to the Eastern Daily Press, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called Mr Lewis’s comments “completely unacceptable”.

Mr Lewis was booked to meet with Mr Corbyn on Saturday 21 October for an “in conversation” event when the leader visited Norwich, however cancelled after the video surfaced.

Thai Braddick, President of UEA Momentum, told Concrete: “The language Clive used, despite it being said in jest, isn’t acceptable to any stretch of the imagination. His apology was genuine and we hope to take it to heart that Clive will be challenged on and be a lot more aware of the impact of his language in the future.”

The UEA Conservative Association also condemned the remarks. They said: “Misogynistic language isn’t acceptable in public or in private, in leisure or in work, at the Labour Party conference or at the LCR.

“There is no reason why Clive Lewis would not have be removed from the LCR had he made his comments there instead of in Brighton.”

Mr Lewis received extensive criticism for the remark from female Labour MPs who criticised his use of language.

Stella Creasy, MP for Walthamstow, said: “It’s not ok. Even if meant as joke, [it] reinforces menace that men have the physical power to force compliance.”

Jess Phillips, who represents Birmingham Yardley, tweeted on Friday afternoon: “Just seen the Clive Lewis video. Obviously I am appalled, just listened to 7 teenage girls speak up about gender inequality. Perhaps I’ll bring them to work on Monday.”

A spokesman for the Labour Party said: “The Labour Party condemns the language used by Clive Lewis. It was completely unacceptable and falls far short of the standard expected of Labour MPs.”


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October 2021
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