Ed Davey, hopeful in Lib Dem leadership, is forced to apologize after calling on Remainers to ‘behead’ Boris Johnson for his no-deal Brexit move
- Kingston MP called on the Remainers to politically ‘decapitate that blonde head’
- He later apologized saying he meant “in an electoral sense and by no means literally”.
- His rival Jo Swinson said: “Boris will be a disaster for this country, but we can make that case without resorting to violent language.”
Lib Dem leadership candidate Ed Davey has apologized after calling on the Remainers to politically “decapitate” Boris Johnson.
The 53-year-old Kingston MP said the language he used in a column for the Times today was “sloppy”.
He made the comment while calling on pro-EU campaigners to try to unseat Johnson from his Uxbridge seat, where he has a majority of just over 5,000, writing for the newspaper’s Red Box.
He said: ‘After the Lib Dems defeated the Conservatives and Labor in the European elections, we are clearly identified in the public mind as the party to stop Brexit.
‘To be honest, we need more than money and a 20 per cent higher ranking in the polls.
“So I am raising the idea of a Remain alliance to behead that blonde head in Uxbridge and South Ruislip if Johnson calls a snap election to get Brexit done.”
But after the article circulated on social media, he retracted it, saying: “I recognize that this was not an acceptable choice of phrase and I am sorry.”
It comes days after Jo Swinson, the favorite to succeed Sir Vince Cable as head of the Lib Dem party, was accused of smearing the entire nation with an “absurd” comment that the UK is a “racist country”.
The Scottish MP, currently the party’s deputy leader, made the comment expressing concern about the challenges black people face in public life.
Lib Dem leadership candidate Ed Davey has apologized after calling on the Remainers to politically “decapitate” Boris Johnson
Johnson, pictured today campaigning in Surrey, has a 5,000-seat majority in Uxbridge
‘This was a careless use of language, in an electoral sense and by no means literally. While we must be firm in our opposition, we have to carefully consider the impact of our words and I did not.’
Davey is currently facing deputy party leader Jo Swinson in a two-horse race to replace Sir Vince Cable, who is stepping down as leader.
Ms Swinson, 39, criticized her competitor, saying: ‘The language we use is important. We have to be able to have a robust debate on our politics without resorting to graphic and violent images.
Lib Dem deputy leader Jo Swinson said: “This is not language I would use, and in the current climate I don’t think we should speak in those terms.”
‘We have to rediscover the ability to be well at odds with each other.
This is not a language I would use, and in the current climate I don’t think we should speak in those terms.
“Boris will be a disaster for this country, but we can make that case without resorting to violent language.”