Lib Dem leadership hopeful Ed Davey is forced to apologise after calling for Remainers to ‘decapitate’ Boris Johnson over his move towards a No Deal Brexit
- Kingston MP called on Remainers to politically ‘decapitate that blond head’
- He later apologised saying it was meant ‘in electoral sense and in no way literally’
- 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 said sorry after calling for Remainers to politically ‘decapitate’ Boris Johnson.
The Kingston MP, 53, said the language he used in a column for the Times today was ‘careless’.
He made the remark while calling for pro-EU campaigners to attempt to unseat Mr Johnson in his Uxbridge seat – where he has a majority of just over 5,000, writing for the paper’s Red Box.
He said: ‘After Lib Dems trounced the Tories and Labour in the Euro elections we are identified clearly in the public mind as the stop Brexit party.
‘To be candid, we need more than money and a 20 per cent plus ranking in the polls.
‘So I hereby float the idea of a Remain alliance to decapitate that blond head in Uxbridge and South Ruislip if Johnson calls a snap election to deliver Brexit.’
But after the article was circulated on social media he rowed back from it, saying: ‘I recognise this wasn’t an acceptable choice of phrase and I’m sorry.
It comes days after Jo Swinson, the favourite to succeed Sir Vince Cable as Lib Dem party boss, was accused of smearing the entire nation with an ‘absurd’ remark that UK is a ‘racist country’.
The Scottish MP, currently the party’s deputy leader, made the comment while raising concerns over challenges faced by black people in public life.
Lib Dem leadership candidate Ed Davey has said sorry after calling for Remainers to politically ‘decapitate’ Boris Johnson
Mr Johnson, pictured today campaigning in Surrey, has a 5,000 seat majority in Uxbridge
‘This was careless use of language, meant in electoral sense and in no way literally. Whilst we should be robust in our opposition, we do have to carefully consider impact of our words and I failed to do that.’
Mr Davey is currently pitted against party deputy leader Jo Swinson in a two-horse race to replace Sir Vince Cable, who is stepping down as leader.
Ms Swinson, 39, criticised her competitor, saying: ‘The language we use is important. We have to be able to have robust debate in our politics without resorting to graphic, violent imagery.
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 disagree well with each other.
‘This is not 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.’