Work and pensions minister Kevin McCarthy apologises to MP

Image copyright PA Image caption McCarthy, in Parliament on Wednesday, said the MP apologised for his “awkward moment” Furious work and pensions minister Kevin McCarthy says he called an MP who left a tweet…

Work and pensions minister Kevin McCarthy apologises to MP

Image copyright PA Image caption McCarthy, in Parliament on Wednesday, said the MP apologised for his “awkward moment”

Furious work and pensions minister Kevin McCarthy says he called an MP who left a tweet about dead Muslims on his computer after quitting.

Telegraph Group journalist Paul Gosar left a tweet on the computer system of Paul Farrelly, MP for Newcastle upon Tyne Central, after McCarthy, Labour, called the Parliament “sexist”.

Gosar has been suspended by the newspaper.

But McCarthy has told the BBC that the incident was “completely out of character” for the 46-year-old.

Gosar is now urging both men to apologise for “failing to conduct themselves professionally and racking up a large public apology bill”.

First to comment

McCarthy’s comments came after he tweeted: “Shame about the #sexist atmosphere #contempt for women @10DowningStreet. Will be getting them changed.”

Gosar – who works for The Sunday Telegraph – responded: “Well that’s awkward. Except not for me. I’m trans. #sexist.”

Gosar posted an update to his account on Sunday, saying he had “written a good cry now … quit’s tweeted [sic]”.

However, Mr McCarthy responded to him, saying: “It is very sorry to hear this, Paul. You are an excellent journalist.”

Gosar said on Tuesday: “Given my position, I am naturally angered and have forwarded a copy of my tweet to my editor, who has then called my editors and said this is not acceptable.

“I haven’t seen anything from Kevin’s office, but I am sure they are also disappointed.”

‘Needs to come clean’

In a statement, Gosar said: “As a reporter, Paul Gosar sets his own standards. However, I think it is time for him to come clean, if it is true that he contacted me directly to fix the error.

“It is not the first time he has handled a regrettable moment so awkwardly, in person or on social media. In future he needs to follow the example of colleagues like Claire Perry and John Mann who have shown leadership in resolving these issues.”

An interview conducted by Gosar’s replacement Andrew Pierce – who also works for the Telegraph – was published on Monday.

In the interview, Mr Gosar criticised those in positions of power for failing to “stand up and take responsibility”.

“You would hope as a reader of The Sunday Telegraph that my phone or computer would be looked after by a respected journalist, albeit one who can be direct like I sometimes try to be,” he said.

However, a spokesperson for Trinity Mirror, the publisher of The Sunday Telegraph, said: “We do not and would never ask any employee to do anything in any manner different from what they would normally do.”

Where this story goes from here

Gosar said he had contacted both Labour MP Mr Farrelly and Mr McCarthy.

He also said that Michael Crick – the journalist who was sitting in the green benches next to Gosar at Westminster when he was responding to him – was “likely” to face disciplinary action.

Mr Crick, BBC political editor, said he would be “entirely justified” in taking disciplinary action against Gosar after his article “sickened” him.

In a statement, Trinity Mirror said the reporter was not “actively dealing with” a complaint.

“We understand Kevin McCarthy has contacted Paul Gosar and Paul Gosar has spoken to Kevin McCarthy about this.

“We do not and would never ask any employee to do anything in any manner different from what they would normally do. It is a question of professional conduct.”

Mr Farrelly said he had “done nothing wrong” and supported the MP who replied to his tweet “out of politeness”.

“If Kevin McCarthy did call Paul Gosar, he should come forward and tell the truth,” he said.

Meanwhile, the prime minister’s official spokesman said Ms Perry and Mr Mann should “do the right thing” and apologise.

He added: “If it turns out they don’t apologise to each other it will be seen to be a bit of a vendetta.”

Ms Perry also hit out at Paul Gosar on Twitter.

“Your RT of this show clearly showed you were calling me names and while I’m sorry your call did not affect your daily routine, the exchange between Paul Gosar and me was unacceptable,” she wrote.

“You are a good man but it is time for you to grow up.”

Ms Perry, a politician who has been referred to as “the world’s most boring MP”, was suspended from the Conservative Party in April 2016 and later fined for breaching election laws after spending more than the legal limit of £10,000.

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