Gay Tory MP Nick Boles has hit back at Twitter criticism after he referred to Labour’s Jess Phillips as “irresistible.”
Boles, the Conservative MP for Grantham and Stamford, came under fire on social media over cross-party praise for an interview that Phillips had given to The Times on Saturday (March 9).
Sharing the interview, he had tweeted: “There is something about @jessphillips that I find irresistible. I would walk over hot coals for her.
“And yes she would be a great Prime Minister.”
Gay MP’s message of support branded ‘horny’
The message immediately came under fire from Twitter users who appeared to interpret the message of support as a sexual comment.
One said: “That was supposed to be a creepy DM, right?”
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Another response added: “please mps i’m begging of you, stop being horny on main.”
The spat was swiftly picked up by several newspapers, with coverage from The Independent and Metro failing to reference the fact that Boles is openly gay and happily married to a man.
Boles has been out since before he was first elected to Parliament in 2010, and as a minister in 2014 helped to enact equal marriage provisions.
Referencing the coverage, Boles tweeted: “Wondering how I’m going to explain this to my husband…”
He also responded to criticism from Guardian columnist Dawn Foster, writing: “No idea who @DawnHFoster but find it very funny that she thinks my admiration for @jessphillips in some way sexual.
“One day, maybe, a gay man will admire her too and then she will know what I am talking about…”
Jess Phillips defends Nick Boles from ‘utterly ridiculous’ attacks
Jess Phillips has also defended Boles, liking his original message and describing the newspaper coverage as “utterly ridiculous.”
Responding to a message to Boles that read “Why don’t you just ask her for a shag?”, Phillips replied: “Bab I think you might have misunderstood more than a few things.”
She added: “I cannot quite believe how awful people are being about two people from different parties can be nice to each other.”