A Tory MP has defended his use of the word “fu*kwit” on BBC2’s Daily Politics show, saying he used the term "disapprovingly" as he quoted from a disparaging comment made by a fellow guest, former police office Peter Kirkham, in reference to Home Secretary Theresa May.
Nick Herbert’s expletive was met with immediate censure from Presenter Jo Coburn, who said: "We won't have any more of that". Later the BBC apologised over the incident.
Herbert, the former police minister, took to Twitter to defend his outburst, posting: "Shame on the former police officer on the prog who used the word to describe the Home Sec and who I was quoting disapprovingly." The MP did, however, offer an apology, saying it was unacceptable and would not be repeated.
A BBC spokeswoman said: "Daily Politics is a live programme and, as with any live broadcast, occasionally slip-ups may happen. We apologised to viewers immediately for any offence caused."
Peter Kirkham was quick to respond, also on Twitter, posting: "Genuinely don't recall doing so 'a couple of days ago'!"
Others lambasted the Tory’s use of the term on live TV, with Labour MP Liz Kendall posting: "My dad is constituent of Nick Herbert. Very unhappy at reports of his comments on Daily Politics. Completely inappropriate, especially for an MP."
During the programme Herbert was asked whether police would react badly to a speech by May and he replied: "I'm afraid there have been a minority who've been outspoken and they are very active on Twitter and so on. Peter himself just a day ago described the Home Secretary as a 'f***wit' in his own Twitter line."
After being warned about his language, Herbert said: "Indeed we should not have any more of it, from either police officers or former police officers, this kind of infantile discussion that goes on."