Islington Lib Dems condemn Thornberry tweet
Islington’s Liberal Democrats seized the opportunity to condemn Labour’s Emily Thornberry after the MP for Islington South and Finsbury resigned from her post as Shadow Attorney General yesterday.
“For somebody who prides herself on her working class roots, I think she should be ashamed of herself, to be perfectly truthful,” said Terry Stacy, former opposition leader of Islington Council and the Lib Dem’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Thornberry’s seat. He said he had reinstated the flying of St George’s flag at Islington Town Hall when he was council leader.
Ms. Thornberry faced a backlash on social media yesterday after tweeting a picture of a terraced home draped in three St. George’s flags and a white van parked in the driveway.
Captioned “Image from Rochester”, where the MP was campaigning in the by-election that was won by UKIP, the tweet was quickly branded as “elitist” and “snobbish” by commenters.
Ms. Thornberry apologised for the tweet before announcing her resignation from the Shadow Cabinet. In a statement, she said: “Earlier today I sent a tweet which has caused offence to some people. That was never my intention and I have apologised.”
“However I will not let anything distract from Labour’s chance to win the coming general election.”
“I have therefore tonight told Ed Milband I will resign from the shadow cabinet.”
In a phone interview, Mr. Stacy said the tweet was “nothing more than patronising and somewhat insulting to a large number of the working class, patriotic constituents. It’s somewhat elitist and typical of her ‘champagne socialist’ ways.”
“My view is that one should always think – too many tweets make a t*** anyway – you should always think as a community leader, whether it’s an MP or a local councillor, what you’re putting into the public realm. People should be proud to fly St. George’s Crosses, the patron saint of England.
“As somebody who was leader of the Council who brought back the St. George’s Cross to be flown above the town hall after years of it being banned by Labour, as I said, she should be ashamed of herself,” he added.
Mr. Stacy was previously a Lib Dem councillor for Islington and leader at the Town Hall from 2008 to 2010. He was leader of the opposition until this year’s election, when the Liberal Democrats lost all of their seats on Islington Council.
Emily Thornberry’s office could not be reached for comment at the time of writing.