20 Sep 2013

Godfrey Bloom: ‘Women knew sluts comment was joke’

It was a disaster one could have seen coming.  Godfrey Bloom, the controversial Ukip MEP who was caught on camera over the summer talking of  “bongo bongo land”, was billed to appear at a champagne reception to discuss women in politics.  Champagne?  Women?  In politics?  It was an irresistible combination.

Not least because Bloom had uttered several extraordinary statements over the years about the role of women.

At the gathering there were several references to Bloom’s’ remark around 2004, that “women don’t clean behind the fridge enough”.  To which he delivered several braying, jokey responses.

Bloom had been billed to speak himself, but slowly a Ukip official guided him towards the exit.  As he made to leave, the Channel 4 News team followed.  On the steps of the old Westminster Library I posed several questions about his views on women in politics.

He said nothing that controversial, but then another journalist asked him about referring to women who didn’t clean behind the fridge as “sluts”. He said all the women who’d heard him say that took it as a joke.

His press officer chipped in to explain: “I think people don’t understand the difference between slut and slag, maybe it’s something to do with the lack of grammar schools in our education system.”

Then, as Bloom moved to walk off I asked him about the souvenir programme for the Ukip conference which has photos of around 260 people on the front cover.  But none of them seem to be black.  Was Bloom worried about this?

Then he exploded. “What an appalling comment is that?” Bloom shouted.

You can watch the rest.

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