This morning Rupa Huq managed to anger listeners when she used a slot on the Today programme to compare Naz Shah’s anti-semitic social media posts to tweeting a photo of Boris Johnson on a zip-wire.
With both the presenter and audience left bewildered by her disastrous defence of Shah’s posts, it appears that Huq has now had second thoughts. Opting to give an interview to the Russia Today show Sam Delaney’s News Thing — rather than return to the BBC — Huq claims she was simply unprepared for the interview. The Labour MP says that she wasn’t ‘fully aware’ of the details of Shah’s anti-Semitic posts before she appeared on the Today programme:
‘The thing is I didn’t have 100 per cent knowledge of all these things when I was doing that interview so now I’m seeing that some of these picture were in her own hand… I mean… I share silly pictures, I think we all do.’
Now she has looked into Shah’s posts in detail, Huq claims that she agrees that the posts are ‘very offensive’:
‘This looks very, very offensive to many people and that’s indefensible, so I mean she’s done the right thing by resigning and making that apology – let’s see what comes out of the investigation.’
While Huq puts her ignorance down to being ‘preoccupied’ with issues in her constituency, this does beg the question: why would Labour allow an MP to go on air without first being fully briefed on the issue?