Emily Thornberry is everything that’s wrong with Labour

She sums up the sneering contempt that Labour now has for working-class people.


Topics Brexit Politics UK

Labour leadership hopeful Emily Thornberry was hauled over the coals on The Andrew Neil Show last night. In particular, she was pressed on her sneering attitude towards working-class voters.

Footage from an event called ‘Love Socialism, Hate Brexit’ last year shows Thornberry laughing at her colleague Dawn Butler’s suggestion that ‘If you don’t hate Brexit, even if you voted for it, there’s something wrong with you’. Neil accused her of ‘joining in the sneering at Brexit voters’.

It’s not the first time that Thornberry, who lives in a £2million house in Islington with her husband Sir Christopher Nugee QC, has been accused of turning her nose up at working-class people – all the while standing for a party that is supposed to represent them.

In 2014, the Islington South MP infamously tweeted a picture of a house with England flags and a white van outside, giving it the caption ‘Image from Rochester’. She was forced to resign from the shadow cabinet. The resident of that house branded her a ‘snob’, telling the Sun that Labour MPs ‘need to get out of their mansions and visit the working class’.

During the 2017 election, Thornberry suggested voters were more interested in Theresa May’s hair than policy. ‘It is not good enough for people to be saying “I like Theresa May’s hair”, or “I like that shade of blue”. Politics is not about that’, she said on ITV’s Peston, delivering a stern rebuke to the supposedly superficial public.

Following Labour’s catastrophic defeat at the 2019 General Election, former Labour MP Caroline Flint claimed that Thornberry had recently told a colleague representing a northern, pro-Leave seat that ‘I’m glad my voters aren’t as stupid as yours’. (Though Thornberry strongly denies this and has threatened legal action against Flint.)

Emily Thornberry’s sneering contempt for the masses sums up everything that’s wrong with the Labour Party today. For all the internal debate about whether Labour needs to leave behind Corbynism or Blairism or both, it is Thornberryism that most urgently needs exorcising.

Picture by: Getty.

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Gareth Edward KING

26th January 2020 at 12:34 pm

You disrespectful lot! It’s Lady Emily Nugee!

Gareth Edward KING

26th January 2020 at 12:21 pm

Thornberry needs to decide what accent she has, her line ‘..and it’s not right to say so’ starts as Received Pronunciation and ends as ‘sarf London’. How patronising! It’s patently obvious that accents don’t put people off-witness Johnson’s- or necessarily say much about an individual as long as they are genuine.

jessica christon

25th January 2020 at 9:50 am

Emily Thornberry is a woke, green, remainer. Lisa Nandy is also a woke, green, remainer. The fact that Emily is an sneery, obnoxious eyesore and Lisa is sympathetic and easy on the eye doesn’t matter. They both represent what’s wrong with Labour and the policies which must be ditched if they’re ever going to win back their lost northern voters and become politically relevant again.

Tim Wheeler

24th January 2020 at 11:19 am

The 2 female leaders that would get my vote would be Gisela Steward (the party trolled then dumped her for being a democrat.) & Kate Hoey (tough, practical, and believes in nation, borders and citizen democray.) Not impressed with the current bunch of Luvvies who want the status of rulers but with no accountability to voters and the real decisions made by the E.U. and global corporate lobbyists.

Ven Oods

24th January 2020 at 8:43 am

I don’t like Thornberry, but I don’t see many mentions of how she claims the tweet was misrepresented or that she denies the ‘stupid voters’ comment. Whatever happened to ‘innocent until proven guilty’? If she does go so far as to sue Flint, then the truth should come out; if she doesn’t sue, then we’ll all draw a conclusion from that.
She certainly did herself no favours in the Neil interview (how many do?) and the effect is probably to confirm the opinion of those who don’t like her, while raising doubts among those who tended to give her the benefit of the doubt.

Ven Oods

24th January 2020 at 8:46 am

Just watched that Change Britain clip-fest of Thornberry’s swivelling pronouncements – brilliant!
Clear as mud, but without the charisma.

Tim Wheeler

24th January 2020 at 12:29 pm

If Thornberry does sue – exactly how exactly will truth be revealed? Thornberry has to make a show of denying it, but I don’t see that she can disprove it. If the person who is alleged to have repeated Thornberry’s (alleged) comments to Caroline Flint wishes to remain anonymous then I don’t see how anything can be proved one way or the other.

Ven Oods

24th January 2020 at 4:03 pm

Reasonable point, Tim. I’d have thought that Flint’s friend would rather come forward than see her taken to the cleaners for slander/libel or whatever. But you’re right; there’s no guarantee there.

Philip Humphrey

24th January 2020 at 7:22 am

Don’t forget her car crash interview with Dermot Murnaghan. She was supposed to be shadow foreign Secretary, but she didn’t know the name of her French counterpart or anything else much she should have known. But instead of simply accepting the point and moving on, she accused Murnaghan of sexism and “pub quizzing” her.

nick hunt

23rd January 2020 at 6:04 pm

If you want to attempt the very tricky task of preaching equality to those who you know must be inferior by definition, then you need to hide your elitism very well. Thanks to Emily and her ilk, the founding leftist deceit or supremacist assumption (that dumb plebs should bow to their intellectual and moral superiors) is now in full public view, hopefully fatally


23rd January 2020 at 5:38 pm

Working class people cling to the flag of St. George because it’s all they have got – that and hatred of foreigners and the educated.

David J

23rd January 2020 at 6:24 pm

St George’s flag has nothing to do with modern interpretations such as class. The flag has been flown for England since the 1200s, nearly eight centuries ago.


23rd January 2020 at 7:38 pm

Where’ve you been the last thirty years? It is clearly a statement of pointless jingoism waved by thickos in the absence of rational thought.

a watson

23rd January 2020 at 7:59 pm

ZP are you E Thornberry in disguise?

nick hunt

24th January 2020 at 1:54 pm

If I love my wife, must I hate other women? So if you love your country… Xenops, this post is among your most absurdly non-logical and bigoted. I’m sorry for your alienation and hate; you really need a homeland to love, defend and belong to. As the wonderful Roger Scruton would say, you elitists suffer from oikophobia.


24th January 2020 at 10:36 pm

I’m not scared of oiks at all. Since when did Scruton give a damn about ordinary working people? He’s never met any.

George Bowling

24th January 2020 at 9:44 pm

If only we had your wisdom and insight we could get a massive majority and finally get Brexit done, oh wait…

Cedar Grove

26th January 2020 at 6:52 pm

That must be why there’s a significant body of painting by miners, account for the success of the Workers’ Educational Association, and explain why I encountered Dickens and Eliot as a child when they were read to me by a retired factory worker.

Do you actually know any working class people?

Joseph Brown

27th January 2020 at 3:33 pm

I put At George’s flag in the window during sporting events, like the World Cup. Does that make me a racist too?

You’re an idiot of the highest order and your incessant trolling and hate mongering should see your account banned from this site.

nick hunt

15th February 2020 at 3:04 pm

Ah, Xenops in full bigot mode! If I love my wife, must I hate other women? And if I love my compatriots, must I hate foreigners? Get a nation to love and defend, Xenops. So much healthier and happier than hate!

Jane 70

23rd January 2020 at 5:10 pm

Obese, pompous, snobbish and entitled. Awful.


23rd January 2020 at 5:39 pm

Sure she’s not one of yours?

Miles Plastic

23rd January 2020 at 4:48 pm

Thornberry and the repulsive Jess Phillips now out of the contest. Now get rid of the rat with the glasses.

nick hunt

23rd January 2020 at 5:50 pm

Rebecca Wrong-Daily says she has no Tory friends and would be hurt should she discover any vote Conservative. The fact that she felt she could say that openly, almost proudly, without realising what a horribly bigoted, tribalistic sentiment it is, speaks volumes about leftist brainwashing, snobbery and elitism. Nazis were also unable to befriend German Jews.

nick hunt

23rd January 2020 at 5:52 pm

Rebecca Wrong-Daily says she has no Tory friends and would be hurt should she discover any vote Conservative. The fact that she felt she could say that openly, almost proudly, without realising what a horribly bigoted, tribalistic sentiment it is, speaks volumes about leftist brainwashing, snobbery and elitism. Nazis were also unable to befriend Germans J_ws ( can’t post with that word)


24th January 2020 at 10:39 pm

That’s no way to speak of Cummings!

Jim Lawrie

23rd January 2020 at 4:33 pm

Back in the day it was, when a couple separated amicably, it was common for the woman to claim benefits for herself and the children, while the man paid her a good whack under the table. That was the main reason for the CSA.

Strong connections to The Labour Party ensured a much better council house. In fact most good council houses were gotten that way, with “key money” often part of the transaction.

Living in a council house on benefits does not make you working class.

Michael Lynch

23rd January 2020 at 3:34 pm

During my life I have come across people of all shapes and sizes, from different creeds cultures and races and these encounters have always taught me to never judge a book by its cover. Yet Thornberry is the exception to the rule as, not only does she look big and clumsy, she actually is big and clumsy. She is Labour’s very own ‘kiss and death’ and the party, as it seems likely now, have dodged the final bullet by not electing her as leader. I would rather have Dianne Abbott any day of the week than this posh buffoon and that is saying something. The rise of Thornberry, and her ilk, is exactly the reason why the Left needs to turn away from identity politics as it merely encourages the promotion of clowns rather than the competent people it so desperately requires. Bring back Caroline Flint and Kate Hoey.

nick hunt

23rd January 2020 at 5:38 pm

Another fundamental difference is that Labour people like Hooey and Flint didn’t value leftist dogmas more than their voters’ interests, knowing that politicians must represent and serve the people, not the reverse. They refused leftist elitism

Jim Lawrie

23rd January 2020 at 5:55 pm

She learned in life on the left to talk over and down on people, and drown them out. It is all she has. An elephantine modus operandi to those beneath her.

Jim Lawrie

23rd January 2020 at 10:24 pm

Thornberry insisted in that interview on “equal numbers of men and women ” in the PLP. And that they should “look like the people we seek to represent”.
I wonder what percentage of the PLP are single men over 55. And single women over 60.

Jonnie Henly

23rd January 2020 at 2:20 pm

I wonder if Spiked will denounce Boris Johnson in the same light?

He’s made an number of equally condescending comments about the working class over the years.

So far Spiked has kept quiet about that.

Jim Wigan

23rd January 2020 at 7:27 pm

Boris is posh. He doesn’t deny it or pretend to be faux working class. Surprisingly, us working class folk prefer people who acknowledge who they are, over hypocrites.

Thornberry has pretty much breached every basic tenet of socialism over her life, yet pretends to be our champion. She even bought her mums old council house, then rented it out. Give us some credit for being able to spot a charlatan.

Jonnie Henly

24th January 2020 at 3:15 am

Boris Johnson is a charlatan who claims to represent and support the working class.

Where’s the difference?


24th January 2020 at 10:38 pm

Well said, Jonnie. Johnson gets a free pass because he went to Eton and all the forelock-tugging proles think that makes him clever.

Cedar Grove

26th January 2020 at 6:48 pm

No. It’s his fluent use of language that makes him occasionally sound, if not clever, amusing.

Cedar Grove

26th January 2020 at 6:46 pm

Boris makes no claim to be woke, and his disrespect for various sections of our society is openly expressed. Also, he’s occasionally witty. None of that applies to Thornberry.

I would never vote for him, and deplore the fact that he’s now our leader, but at least he’s not a hypocrite.

William Murphy

23rd January 2020 at 1:54 pm

True or not, ‘I’m glad my voters aren’t as stupid as yours’ deserves to go down in history alongside “Let them eat cake”. It contains the suggestion that, while Emily’s voters are not as moronic as Caroline’s, there are probably not many rocket scientists in either constituency. It is a long surviving attitude among politicians of all persuasions, not just left wingers. I remember one of my fellow trade unionists back in the 1980s lamenting the People’s decision to reelect Thatcher. And there was that glorious was-it-true quote from a defeated Australian politician: “The people have spoken….the bastards!”

steve moxon

23rd January 2020 at 2:39 pm

If the bloated ogre didn’t say it, as she claims, and even if she doesn’t think it, as she claimed to Andrew Neil, the point is that it oozes out of her every rancid pore, as her clearly signaled instinctive gut feeling towards the masses — which not least her own party comrades readily pick up.
The court case will be interesting. I take it she’ll be relying on a lack of recorded proof, but in a civil case the ‘balance of probabilities’ standard of proof often backfires on litigants.

Jim Lawrie

23rd January 2020 at 5:51 pm

She also has to prove damage to her reputation.

Dominic Straiton

23rd January 2020 at 6:44 pm

Ah the Australians. 25 million all heading to London due to being climate catastrophe refugees. ….

christopher barnard

23rd January 2020 at 1:03 pm

I’ve noticed that lots of vocal lefties are middle class public sector types who are keenly aware of rank and status and have a very low opinion of anyone they see as below them both at work and outside it.

Curiously they also have a low opinion of anyone above them in the status and educational stakes.

a watson

23rd January 2020 at 3:01 pm

The snobbery in the London Labour Party is widespread – a posh accent gets you noticed.


23rd January 2020 at 5:39 pm

Does Corbyn have a ‘posh accent’? I don’t think so…

a watson

27th January 2020 at 10:02 am

As well as owning a valuable property.

Neil McCaughan

23rd January 2020 at 12:43 pm

Her brother in law got the Companion of the Bath in the New Years Honours.
Nothing remotely establishment about these people.

nick hunt

23rd January 2020 at 5:44 pm

Do either Labour elitists or your idea of the establishment put or even say ‘Britain first’? I had the impression they serve Brussels, autocracy and multiculturalism, while viewing indigenous Brits as troublesome, primitive gammons

silly billy

27th January 2020 at 1:01 pm

Neil – you shouldn’t judge a crook by its bruvver

Simon C

23rd January 2020 at 12:10 pm

Thornberry is just plain wrong; Theresa May doesn’t have blue hair.

a watson

23rd January 2020 at 3:02 pm

The blue rinses now live in North London.

david rawson

23rd January 2020 at 11:36 am

She was embarrassing on Andrew Neil. Quite pathetic, clearly used to getting her own way and never being challenged.

steve moxon

23rd January 2020 at 2:31 pm

Truly toe-curling, it was. She must have been told the game was up after that. The astonishing thing is how she was deluded enough to imagine she ever had a chance. Apparently, she simply wanted to get herself more on the box; being standardly motivated as are females generally, to put their bodies on maximum show — flaunting to attract high-status males as prospective sexual partners. How she reckoned her aging gross frame could bring her any reproductive benefit is wonderful testament to evolved underlying motivation trumping rationality!

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