UK

David Davis Branded A 'Vile, Sexist Man' Following 'Sexist' Text Exchange About Diane Abbott Brexit Kiss

Davis reportedly joked that he didn't kiss Abbott because 'I am not blind'.

12/02/2017 09:44 GMT

Jess Phillips has branded Brexit secretary David Davis a “vile, sexist man” following revelations he sent disparaging text messages about Diane Abbott after she shunned his Brexit vote embrace. 

The Shadow Home Secretary told Davis to “fuck off” on Wednesday after he tried to kiss her following the historic Commons vote backing Brexit.

Davis was said to have leaned in and attempted a light-hearted embrace - at the Strangers’ Bar in the Commons - to praise Abbott for backing the Government’s bill to trigger the UK’s exit from the EU. Abbott reportedly recoiled from Davis. 

Matt Dunham/AP
David Davis has been called 'vile' and 'sexist' after text messages he sent a colleague about Diane Abbott were made public

According to the Mail on Sunday, Davis later exchanged texts with a Tory colleague regarding the incident.

The newspaper reported that the friend texted Davis, saying: “Cannot believe you made an attempt to give DA (Diane Abbott) a hug!”

The Cabinet minister is said to have replied: “Didn’t, but the myth grows. I whispered in her ear ‘Thanks for your vote’ hence the ‘F off’. I am not blind.”

The newspaper reported that the colleague then wrote: “Ha! Ha! Thank God you aren’t blind. Great week for you and Brexit!”

Matt Crossick/Matt Crossick
Abbott was said to have told Davis to 'f*** off' after the he tried to kiss her following the Brexit vote 

Finally, in what appears to be a reference to the Specsavers advert in which people with bad eyesight make embarrassing mistakes, Davis texted: “Actually it would make a good Optical Express advert ... Yes, a reasonable success.”

A spokesman for Davis told the Evening Standard that the Brexit secretary respected Abbott and had been joking, saying: “This was a self-evidently jocular and private exchange with a friend.

Yui Mok/PA Archive
Labour MP Jess Phillips has slammed David's 'mates banter' excuse

“The Secretary of State is very sorry for any offence caused to Miss Abbott, someone he has known and respected for many years.”

Labour MP Jess Phillips hit out at Davis following the text message revelations, branding him a “vile, sexist man”.