Teesside MP apologies after agreeing with Gordon Brown that pensioner was "bigoted"

The Northern Echo: Stockton North MP Alex Cunningham has apologised after insisting Gordon Brown's description of Gillian Brown was correct Stockton North MP Alex Cunningham has apologised after insisting Gordon Brown's description of Gillian Brown was correct

A TEESSIDE MP has issued a grovelling apology after insisting Gordon Brown was right to brand Rochdale pensioner Gillian Duffy a "bigot".

Alex Cunningham was caught on tape discussing the notorious 2010 election campaign encounter between the then-Prime Minister and Mrs Duffy.

Mr Brown forgot to remove a microphone from his lapel after being grilled by Mrs Duffy on immigration issues, and was overheard dismissing her as a "bigoted woman".

When the incident was raised at a party fundraiser earlier this month, Mr Cunningham said: "She was a bigoted woman and that's all there is to it."

But the Stockton North MP has now disowned the remark in a statement, saying: "I am deeply sorry. What I said was wrong and cannot be excused. I will be writing to Mrs Duffy to offer a sincere and personal apology."

Conservative MP Priti Patel said: "Behind the phony public statements, this shows nothing has changed when it comes to Labour's attitude to immigration.

"Labour opened the door to uncontrolled immigration with no thought to its impacts on communities, and as Peter Mandelson admitted, were even sending out search parties for migrants.

"It's the Conservatives who are building an immigration system that is fair to British citizens and legitimate migrants and tough on those who abuse the system or flout the law."

Comments (10)

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11:45am Fri 30 May 14

David Lacey says...

Alex is not a bad guy. But he carries the weight of being Scottish (chips on both shoulders) and a socialist (by definition seriously deranged) so it isn't surprising that he cracked and said what was on his mind. Now he's reverted to normal - keeping what he REALLY thinks under wraps.
Alex is not a bad guy. But he carries the weight of being Scottish (chips on both shoulders) and a socialist (by definition seriously deranged) so it isn't surprising that he cracked and said what was on his mind. Now he's reverted to normal - keeping what he REALLY thinks under wraps. David Lacey
  • Score: 15

11:45am Fri 30 May 14

behonest says...

The double standards of the Labour Party are revealed again.

They do not care about flooding the UK with immigrants and they never have.

Labour´s Alex Cunningham makes a clear statement, and then he ´disowns´it. Why? Because he was wrong, or because he realises it´s not popular? I think we know. Try being honest with people Alex, just for once.
The double standards of the Labour Party are revealed again. They do not care about flooding the UK with immigrants and they never have. Labour´s Alex Cunningham makes a clear statement, and then he ´disowns´it. Why? Because he was wrong, or because he realises it´s not popular? I think we know. Try being honest with people Alex, just for once. behonest
  • Score: 23

12:10pm Fri 30 May 14

MSG says...

Alex should resign or be sacked by the Labour Party. This would allow for a by-election which UKIP would contest and probably win ! He is a disgrace !
Alex should resign or be sacked by the Labour Party. This would allow for a by-election which UKIP would contest and probably win ! He is a disgrace ! MSG
  • Score: 15

12:18pm Fri 30 May 14

tubgut says...

Ballot box and pencil confine this MP to history, just shows what the Labour Party think of the electorate, enough is enough he must go.
Ballot box and pencil confine this MP to history, just shows what the Labour Party think of the electorate, enough is enough he must go. tubgut
  • Score: 14

12:41pm Fri 30 May 14

DarloXman says...

Disgusting and shameful.

Problem is that most people in Stockton North will still vote for this two-faced politician in 2015! I hope that previous Labour supporters will consider whether Mr Cunningham really represents them - or is he just representing himself? He has shown perfectly that you cannot believe a word he says! I agree totally with 'behonest'.
Disgusting and shameful. Problem is that most people in Stockton North will still vote for this two-faced politician in 2015! I hope that previous Labour supporters will consider whether Mr Cunningham really represents them - or is he just representing himself? He has shown perfectly that you cannot believe a word he says! I agree totally with 'behonest'. DarloXman
  • Score: 13

1:01pm Fri 30 May 14

spragger says...

Is this Labour MP thick? Did he not learn anything from Brown's experience?

Does Stockton deserve this person, who clearly thinks little of the people he is paid to represent
Is this Labour MP thick? Did he not learn anything from Brown's experience? Does Stockton deserve this person, who clearly thinks little of the people he is paid to represent spragger
  • Score: 11

1:22pm Fri 30 May 14

Darloresident says...

Cunningham only apologised because like Brown he was caught out..
The man is a career politician and he will do anything to keep his star on the rise.That includes ensuring his true views regarding immigration are not revealed for public scrutiny.
Keep toeing the party line Alex - you will get your reward.
I honestly dont know how these dreadful deceitful politicians sleep at night..
Cunningham only apologised because like Brown he was caught out.. The man is a career politician and he will do anything to keep his star on the rise.That includes ensuring his true views regarding immigration are not revealed for public scrutiny. Keep toeing the party line Alex - you will get your reward. I honestly dont know how these dreadful deceitful politicians sleep at night.. Darloresident
  • Score: 11

2:05pm Fri 30 May 14

john tate says...

Typical politician ,sees the tide going agin him and apologises,how about the good people you have called racist and homophobic,whatever that stupid word means.
Typical politician ,sees the tide going agin him and apologises,how about the good people you have called racist and homophobic,whatever that stupid word means. john tate
  • Score: 9

4:51pm Fri 30 May 14

Withnail Lefty says...

This is just part of the build-up to enable the next Labour Government to reopen the "floodgates" to immigration.
Ed Miliband is already laying down the argument that immigration is a "very good thing for the Country" so that a new wave of Labour supporters can be introduced into the Country. Labour will, eventually, be able to completely dispense with the support from its traditional core working class vote.
This is just part of the build-up to enable the next Labour Government to reopen the "floodgates" to immigration. Ed Miliband is already laying down the argument that immigration is a "very good thing for the Country" so that a new wave of Labour supporters can be introduced into the Country. Labour will, eventually, be able to completely dispense with the support from its traditional core working class vote. Withnail Lefty
  • Score: 10

9:39am Sat 31 May 14

John Justice says...

I support no political party but Labour are a force to be reckoned with when it comes to immigration and the views of the ordinary man or woman. New Labour flooded this country with immigrants in its early years. Nothing was said by them as to how they were going about this. The subsequent impact upon people living here was immense. Schools, local social services and local housing authorities were put under pressure they never envisaged as they tried to cope with the influx. Local people on housing waiting lists for years suddenly saw new immigrants being given houses and access to local services while being pushed out. New Labour responded to peoples concerns by labelling them "Racist" thereby effectively preventing informed discussion. Following a belated acknowledgement that this labelling may be over the top they used a different approach to peoples concerns. Now they are "Bigots". Only because he was spectacularly heard to be voicing his "Bigotted" remarks did Gordon Brown have to apologise. The same with Alex Cunningham. He clearly believes any person with concerns about immigration and its effects on our country is against immigration sans labour and a "Bigot". Alex Cunningham has apologised for being heard to make the comment about a voter voicing legitimate concerns over the impact uncontrolled immigration is having on this country. He believes he was correct with his labelling of an innocent woman. He is sorry he was, like Gordon Brown, Found Out. The only "Bigot" I see here is Alex Cunningham.
I support no political party but Labour are a force to be reckoned with when it comes to immigration and the views of the ordinary man or woman. New Labour flooded this country with immigrants in its early years. Nothing was said by them as to how they were going about this. The subsequent impact upon people living here was immense. Schools, local social services and local housing authorities were put under pressure they never envisaged as they tried to cope with the influx. Local people on housing waiting lists for years suddenly saw new immigrants being given houses and access to local services while being pushed out. New Labour responded to peoples concerns by labelling them "Racist" thereby effectively preventing informed discussion. Following a belated acknowledgement that this labelling may be over the top they used a different approach to peoples concerns. Now they are "Bigots". Only because he was spectacularly heard to be voicing his "Bigotted" remarks did Gordon Brown have to apologise. The same with Alex Cunningham. He clearly believes any person with concerns about immigration and its effects on our country is against immigration sans labour and a "Bigot". Alex Cunningham has apologised for being heard to make the comment about a voter voicing legitimate concerns over the impact uncontrolled immigration is having on this country. He believes he was correct with his labelling of an innocent woman. He is sorry he was, like Gordon Brown, Found Out. The only "Bigot" I see here is Alex Cunningham. John Justice
  • Score: 9

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