Saturday, April 20, 2024

Update: Metcalfe aide claims comments were “misinterpreted”

UNDER-FIRE aide to South Basildon and East Thurrock MP Stephen Metcalfe, cllr Luke MacKenzie, has defended his controversial comments on twitter claiming they were “misinterpreted”

The Vange councillor has seen his comments “trending” on twitter after he referred to disabled protestors as “unwashed.” and suggested they go off to North Korea.

But speaking to YT on Sunday afternoon, cllr MacKenzie defended the comments.

He said: “I was directing the comments at UKUNCUT. I put UKUNCUT at the end of the tweet and it has clearly been mis-interpreted.

“UKUNCUT have been responsible for acts of criminal damage in London and I wanted to highlight that.”

Asked if he had any regrets, the 25-year-old councillor said: ” I regret that they have been mis-interpreted.”

YT asked the councillor, if he had spoken to his boss, MP Stephen Metcalfe.

He said: “We have spoken and I have his support. I have also spoken to Basildon council leader Tony Ball.”

Asked if he would consider stepping down as a councillor or as an assistant to the MP, the councillor said: “No. The comments have been misinterpreted and I stand by my concerns regarding UKuncut.”

Mr Metcalfe was unavailable for comment.




  1. So when Luke MacKenzie said:

    “I hear there are a bunch of unwashed people at Oxford and Regent Street, if you don’t like capitalism move to North Korea #UKUNCUT”

    what he really meant was:

    “I respect your right to protest even though I don’t agree with you. But that right doesn’t extend to breaking the law and damaging other people’s property.”

    Rather than:

    “Stop moaning and go away, you dreadful poor disabled people. The very sight of you offends my delicate senses.”

    It’s easy to see how that could have been misinterpreted. Political communication is a very tricky business.

  2. It’s obvious that Cllr Mackenzie’s tweet was taken out of context, he has said that they were mis-interpreted and that should be the end of the matter for gods sake!

  3. And therein lays the problem with Twitter. People will wholeheartedly believe that the tweet conveys absolutely what Mr Mackenzie wanted to say but totally disbelieve him when he says it doesn’t. Either way, if you are in public service, you should be very careful what you commit to writing and you just have to take it on the chin when you make a bit of an arse of yourself, even if unintentionally.

  4. Adrian brilliant commentary. i expected the Basildon and Thurrock conservative party supports to all chime in!! are you having a laugh he didn’t mean what he said!! it was misinterpreted. let me clarify for anyone that dosent know the meaning of unwashed. The dictionary defines it as-adjective

    1.not cleaned or purified by or as if by washing: unwashed dishes; the unwashed soul of a sinner.
    2.pertaining to or characteristic of the common people; untutored, unsophisticated, or ignorant; plebeian: the power of the unwashed electorate.
    3.( used with a plural verb ) an ignorant or lower-class group; rabble (usually preceded by the ): The author claimed that the unwashed would not understand his books.

    Put in this context it would be clear that Cllr Mackenzie was using it as a verb to describe an ignorant or lower-class group; rabble. it is totally unacceptable, and only those with a limited working knowledge of the english language would allow this offensive politician to get away with this type of vile comment.


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