Karen Bradley manages to make Chris Grayling look like a safe pair of hands
She followed up with one of the most ludicrous political climbdowns of recent years
To say that Theresa May’s cabinet ministers are a tad gaffe-prone would be something of an understatement.
In one day, Amber Rudd had to apologise for calling Diane Abbott “coloured” and Andrea Leadsom said MPs’ concerns about Islamophobia should be directed to the Foreign Office.
But it was Karen Bradley who bagged the award for the most recklessly stupid comment of the day - and perhaps of the decade – by a cabinet minister.
In remarkable scenes in the House of Commons, the Northern Ireland Secretary said the killings committed by members of the security forces during the Troubles were “not crimes”. Rather, they were the actions of “people acting under orders and instructions, fulfilling their duties in a dignified and appropriate way”.
Later, in an interview with the Press Association in Belfast, Bradley made one of the most ludicrous political climbdowns of recent years. “I want to be very clear – I do not believe what I said, that is not my view,” said.
While Labour called for Bradley to resign and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar described her comments as “insensitive” and “wrong,” in a brutal leader The Guardian hit the nail on the head:
It stated: “Karen Bradley has pulled off the feat of making Chris Grayling look like a safe pair of hands."
But it's not like nobody saw it coming. Six months ago, Bradley stunned Westminster by admitting in an interview with The House magazine that before becoming Northern Ireland secretary she was profoundly ignorant of the country’s political divisions. In particular, she said she was unaware that nationalists did not vote for unionists and that unionists did not vote for nationalists – the most elementary fact about Northern Ireland politics.
All of which begs the question: why the hell did Theresa May give her the job in the first place?