Robert Halfon speaks: ‘I’ll regret that tweet for rest of my life’


There is room in life for being willing to accept an apology from someone who has caused great offence. I have just received an especially abject one from Robert Halfon, Conservative MP for Harlow, about his notorious tweet. Others, as I warned when he telephoned me today, will be less charitable. My view is that we may remain highly critical of the original sin while recognising the sincerity and depth of contrition …

Robert Halfon today offered an unqualified apology
for the “scumbag football hooligans” tweet that outraged the people of Sunderland and all supporters of SAFC, from the club’s great catchment area of County Durham and beyond.

“I will regret that tweet as long as I live,” Mr Halfon told
Salut! Sunderland by telephone after initiating contact via Twitter.

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Robert Halfon MP: an open letter from an insulted Sunderland fan

'Still not good enough Mr Halfon'
‘Still not good enough Mr Halfon’

It is a scandal that won’t and shouldn’t go away. See also the first comment below: another Sunderland supporter, this time writing to Julie Elliott, MP for Sunderland Central, who took up cudgels against the Tory member responsible for the outrageous tweet rightly taken by fans to be insulting and defamatory …

Robert Halfon, Conservative MP for Harlow, is now acutely aware of the offence he caused with his yobbish choice of words to describe the alleged – falsely alleged – misconduct of “scumbag football hooligans” in Covent Garden on the eve of the league cup final.

He has belatedly apologised for his intemperate attack, still apparently unable to see that he looks like a man seeking to wriggle free of the charge of indulging in class defamation of the Sunderland supporters who were overwhelmingly those present in the area.

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Beauty and the beast: Sunderland’s Wembley montage and a wriggling Tory MP

The photos above are, in the main, of passionate people who made March 2 a special day in the history of Sunderland AFC.

They are not “scumbag football hooligans”, the elegant turn of phrase chosen by Robert Halfon, Conservative MP for Harlow and a supporter of Chelsea and Harlow Town, to describe the thousands of supporters who painted Covent Garden and other parts of central London red and white on the eve of the final.

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