Emily Thornberry apologises for comparing Lib Dems to 'Taliban' over Brexit stance

PUBLISHED: 23:23 25 September 2019 | UPDATED: 23:25 25 September 2019

Emily Thornberry MP. Photograph: PA.

Emily Thornberry MP. Photograph: PA.

PA Wire/PA Images

Emily Thornberry has apologised for likening the Liberal Democrats to the 'Taliban' for their stance on wanting to revoke Aritcle 50.

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The shadow foreign secretary was criticised by a number of Lib Dems including Jo Swinson after making the remark following their party conference.

Thornberry had previously told The House magazine: "The Lib Dems have gotten kind of Taliban, haven't they? They've said they're just going to revoke, there's not going to be another referendum.

"I don't think it's very democratic to seek to overturn a referendum without asking the people first.

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"I really think the only democratic way to get through this and to break the logjam is to go back to the people and trust their good sense."

At the time former Lib Dem leader Tim Farron joked: "Come on Emily, if we really were like a Middle East terrorist group, don't you think Jeremy would've invited us to a conference fringe meeting before now?"

Current party leader Jo Swinson said: "Comparing a UK political party to the Taliban is ludicrous. Emily is the shadow foreign secretary, and should use language that reflects the importance of that role."

Thornberry, speaking in the Commons, told MPs: "Can I take this opportunity Mr Speaker, because we're debating vital issues in the Middle East, to apologise publicly to my Liberal Democrat colleagues for my crass throwaway Taliban remark in an interview last week.

"I'm sorry for what I said, and I believe our politics is better when we can be honest and apologise for our mistakes - a lesson that our country's prime minister, her majesty's prime minister, would be well placed to learn."

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