Islington MP Emily Thornberry steps down from shadow cabinet following ‘snobbish’ Tweet

PUBLISHED: 08:10 21 November 2014 | UPDATED: 08:10 21 November 2014

MP Emily Thornberry: 'I grew up on a council estate'

MP Emily Thornberry: 'I grew up on a council estate'


An Islington MP has resigned from Ed Miliband’s shadow cabinet after her tweet of a house draped with England flags saw her branded a ‘snob’.

MP Emily Thornberry's picture has caused something of a storm on Twitter Pic: @EmilyThornberryMP Emily Thornberry's picture has caused something of a storm on Twitter Pic: @EmilyThornberry

Emily Thornberry, MP for Islington South and Finsbury MP, posted the picture while canvassing for yesterday’s Rochester and Strood by-election, under the message “image from Rochester”.

She told the Gazette she was amazed the house had so many flags that the windows were obstructed, but an online backlash led to a dressing-down by Mr Miliband and then her resignation.

In a statement released by the Labour last night, she said: “Earlier today I sent a tweet which has caused offence to some people.

“That was never my intention and I have apologised.

“However I will not let anything distract from Labour’s chance to win the coming general election.

“I have therefore tonight told Ed Miliband I will resign from the shadow cabinet.”

Ms Thornberry’s Tweet saw an angry other users of the social network.

One, ‏@frank_fisher, posted: “Thanks for the reminder of why no working man should ever vote Labour.

“Every time you think Labour can’t get more repellent, or stupider, they do so. Maybe Ed [Miliband] is the best of them?

“I wish the revolting snob had posted this yesterday.

Ms Thornberry, 54, entered Parliament as MP for Islington South and Finsbury in 2005 and served as shadow energy and health spokeswoman before taking the role of shadow attorney general in 2011.

Speaking after the Twitter storm yesterday, she said: “It was a house completely covered in England flags, from top to bottom, so you couldn’t even see out of the windows.

“I’ve never seen a house like that before, so I took a picture and Tweeted it. That’s what people do on Twitter.

“I think all this is a bit of mischief making. There isn’t much of a story until the byelection result comes in so people make up stories out of nothing.

“It’s also about how Islington is thought of by some, but people from there know it is a very mixed area.

“People in Islington also know I was brought up on a council estate. It’s not as thought I’ve never been on one, I’ve just never seen a house like this before.

“That’s why I Tweeted it.”

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