Did the Daily Mail really just compare an out MP to ‘ginger beer’?
A Daily Mail columnist has strangely compared a bisexual MP to ‘ginger beer’ – rhyming slang for queer.
The comparison was made by Quentin Letts in his column yesterday, reporting on the controversy surrounding Tory MP Daniel Kawczynski.
Mr Kawczynski – who revealed he is in a same-sex relationship in 2013 after separating from his wife – has been in the news this week due to his passionate defence of Saudi Arabia.
The MP is a strong advocate of ties with the country, and heckled his own party in Parliament earlier this week, after the government relented to pressure to scrap some Saudi deals over human rights abuses.
However, Letts strangely references that “tempers exploded like warm flagons of ginger beer”, while referring to the unrest in the chamber surrounding Kawczynski and Labour’s Dennis Skinner.
He wrote: “When Tory backbencher Daniel Kawczynski kept shouting ‘disgraceful!’ at his own side (…) tempers were exploding like flagons of ginger beer in a hot wardrobe.”
The ill-advised term often has homophobic connotations.
Former Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson was rebuked in 2007 after he refused to apologise for using the rhyming slang on air.
He told an audience member that he would not buy a car because it was “a bit gay” and “very ginger beer”.
Last year Mr Letts got very hot under the collar about a “taxpayer funded” National Theatre play that is set in a gay sauna.
Under the headline “A National DISGRACE: Sleazy. Amoral. And paid for by you!”, Mr Letts condemned the play as “just a steamy, sorry exercise, shorn of morals”, which is “full of men showing us their whatnots, in at least one case semi-erect”.