Tory MP says he was told off for referring to his spouse as 'the wife'

Ross McGuinness
·3 mins read
Conservative MP Ben Bradley said he was berated for using the phrase 'the wife'. (Parliament)
Conservative MP Ben Bradley said he was berated for using the phrase 'the wife'. (Parliament)

A Conservative MP has claimed he was told off for referring to his spouse as “the wife”.

Ben Bradley, the MP for Mansfield, joked on Twitter that the “thought police would come for him eventually”.

He was responding to a journalist’s tweet about reports that MPs will be given unconscious bias training in an effort to tackle discrimination.

Last week, The Times reported that the House of Commons is also establishing a group to combat racism in parliament after concerns were raised by staff.

At the weekend, The Mail On Sunday reported that the Challenge Consultancy firm has been paid £7,000 by Parliament to run a course on unconscious bias for MPs.

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The course will teach MPs to “understand, recognise and address their unconscious bias and that they may encounter in others”, the newspaper reported.

The move comes after a summer of Black Lives Matter protests across the UK, as well as controversy over the BBC’s reversal of its decision not to have the words of Rule, Britannia! and Land of Hope and Glory sung at the Last Night of the Proms.

On Monday, Bradley replied to a tweet from Charlotte Gill, deputy editor of Tory blog ConservativeHome.

Along with a link to an article she had written about the training for MPs, she tweeted: “Personally I think unconscious bias training is prejudiced in itself, oxymoronic (how can you train the unconscious?), and sounds like something out of Salem (‘let’s get the devil out of you!’).”

In response, Bradley tweeted: “Can safely assure you I won't be doing it!”

The 30-year-old, who has been an MP since 2017, added: “2018 in the Tearoom a colleague kicked off at me for referring to 'the wife' – dehumanising – and subsequently for 'my wife' – possessive, apparently.

Read more: BBC producer dismisses left-wing bias claims

“Knew then that the thought police would come for me eventually”.

Earlier this month, Bradley defended the singer Adele after she was accused of cultural appropriation for styling her hair in Bantu knots and wearing a Jamaican flag bikini to mark Notting Hill Carnival.

Watch: Stars defend Adele against cultural appropriation claims after singer shares photo in Bantu knots

Bradley tweeted: “This is doing my head in.

“Apparently your body and how you choose to look is no longer your own choice, particularly if you might think something from another culture looks quite good!

“Maybe white folks just shouldn't be allowed at the Carnival in future?”

Bradley has previously criticised so-called “woke society”, saying it has not helped working-class “white lads”.

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