Michael Gove apologises for Harvey Weinstein sex assault “joke” on radio

Lucy White
Theresa May Holds First Cabinet Meeting Since Conservative Party Conference
Gove admitted the comment was not appropriate (Source: Getty)

The environment secretary Michael Gove has apologised for a “clumsy” joke referencing Harvey Weinstein, who has been accused of multiple counts of sexual assault, on a BBC radio programme.

Speaking on a special 60th anniversary edition of Radio 4's Today, the Conservative MP told interviewer John Humphrys that going into the studio “is a bit like going into Harvey Weinstein's bedroom.”

He added: “You just pray that you emerge with your dignity intact”.

Former Labour leader Lord Kinnock also joined in, saying: “John [Humphrys] goes way past groping...way past groping.”

Gove later apologised on Twitter, saying his comment “wasn't appropriate” and that he was sorry.

The comments come just days after a report in The Sun alleged female aides and researchers in parliament warned each other on a secret Whatsapp group of “handsy” MPs.

Read more: Theresa May calls claims of Westminster sexual harassment on Whatsapp group “deeply concerning”

A spokesperson for Prime Minister Theresa May responded to that by saying: “The Prime Minister was very clear when we responded to the reports about Harvey Weinstein in the last few weeks that any unwanted sexual behaviour is completely unacceptable, and that is true in any walk of life – including politics.”

Gove was instantly criticised by several other MPs. “Women being abused and raped is not a laughing matter,” said Nicola Sturgeon, leader of the Scottish National Party. Labour MP Stella Creasy called the comment “crass”.

Read more: Michael Gove is now more popular than Boris Johnson, while Theresa May suffers record fall in ConservativeHome's cabinet league table

Related articles