A Tory mayor has defended an ‘offensive’ joke comparing a rugby match to the Northern Ireland border situation in regards to Brexit.
Ben Houchen, Conservative Mayor of the Tees Valley was slammed for his tweet, posted after England beat Ireland 32-20 in the Six Nations in Dublin.
Houchen tweeted: “Dare I say, I’ve not seen England play that well since we won the World Cup in 2003.
“Now the Irish understand the true meaning of a hard border #ENGvIRE #winning”
Jenny Chapman, Labour ’s Shadow Brexit Minister responded, saying: “Politicians shouldn’t joke about a border over which more than 3,000 people were killed.
“He should delete this tweet.”
More a mixture of joy at the England win and reference to a particularly important topic relevant to both nations. 🤷🏻♂️— Ben Houchen (@BenHouchen) February 2, 2019
Houchen then went on to defend the tweet, saying it was a “mixture of joy at the England win and reference to a particularly important topic relevant to both nations.”
People though, weren’t happy.
One said: “Imagine thinking this was an appropriate thing to tweet. Prat.”
Another said: “You idiot Ben The Irish rugby team is composed of players from all of the Island of Ireland, including those from the UK.. please educate yourself about Irish history before you tweet
Think he’s spent too much time at Durham Tees Valley Airport sniffing aviation fluid.— David Appleton (@daverudby) February 3, 2019