MICHAEL Gove was forced to apologise after he made a sick Harvey Weinstein joke on radio.
The Cabinet minister told BBC Radio 4 Today presenter John Humphrys: “Sometimes I think coming into the studio with you John is a bit like going into Harvey Weinstein’s bedroom – you hope to emerge with your dignity intact”.
Veteran Labour politician Neil Kinnock then chipped in, adding “John goes further than groping” as the audience laughed and clapped.
Gove continued: “But the broader point is that yes you can make a fool of yourself.”
The Environment secretary was slammed on Twitter by listeners for “trivialising sexual assault” following the shocking joke.
Lord Adonis, a former Labour education minister, said: “Seriously inappropriate ‘joke,’ sums up a discreditable episode of self-congratulation.
Apologies for my clumsy attempt at humour on R4 Today this morning -it wasn’t appropriate. I’m sorry and apologise unreservedly
— Michael Gove (@michaelgove) October 28, 2017
— Andrew Adonis (@Andrew_Adonis) October 28, 2017
Michael Gove just left the studio without his dignity
— Jess Phillips (@jessphillips) October 28, 2017
“Frankly a great embarrassment. @BBCr4today boasting how brilliant it is; rape jokes from a minister. Get back to reporting & questioning”.
Labour MP Jess Philips, a member of the House of Commons Women and Equalities select committee, said: “Michael Gove just left the studio without his dignity”.
While Stella Creasy added: “This look didn’t work for james corden…gove joking about sexual assault just as crass too” – making reference to a failed joke the comic made last week.
Actor Stephen Mangan wrote: “Morning. Here’s a rape joke from Michael Gove to start your day.”
And Liberal Democrat MP Jo Swinson said: “No, @michaelgove it’s not like that. I have never once feared for my personal safety in a media studio. Don’t trivialise sexual assault”.
Gove later issued a grovelling apology over the comments, which come just days after was it reported that four MPs, including a minister, had been caught up in allegations of sexual misconduct at Westminster.
And a Freedom of Information request to the Met showed officers have dealt with nine claims of harassment in Parliament this year.
Gove tweeted: “Apologies for my clumsy attempt at humour on R4 Today this morning -it wasn’t appropriate. I’m sorry and apologise unreservedly.”
Dozens of women have so far come forward to accuse Weinstein of sex crimes – including three rape allegations.
The FBI and police in New York and London have all opened investigations into Weinstein, with one cop calling him a “super-predator”.
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