A government minister has been accused of showing “utter contempt for voters” after appearing to suggest Blackpool and Birmingham are “godawful”.
Tory MP Heather Wheeler – no stranger to a vocal faux pas – reportedly made the remark in London on Thursday while trying to recall where she had recently visited.
According to technology journalist Chris Middleton, the junior minister said: “I was just at a conference in Blackpool or Birmingham or somewhere godawful.”
Ms Wheeler has now apologised for the “inappropriate remark” which she says “does not reflect my actual view”.
The comment has somewhat predictably stirred anger at the South Derbyshire MP, with Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner saying: “The disrespect is off the scale.”
“The mask has slipped,” she added.
“This minister has blurted out what Boris Johnson’s Conservatives really think about our communities behind closed doors.
“Heather Wheeler has put her utter contempt for voters on show.”
Ms Wheeler’s South Derbyshire constituency of South Derbyshire is less than 40 miles from Birmingham.
In a tweet on Saturday morning, she said: “Whilst speaking at a conference on Thursday, I made an inappropriate remark that does not reflect my actual view.
“I apologise for any offence caused.”