Labour leadership candidate Owen Smith has described himself as the ‘normal’ candidate for the role of Labour leader because he had ‘a wife and three children’, with his main opponent being an openly lesbian woman.
Smith has faced criticism for the statement following the comments during an interview with Sky News.
The comment came as part of a larger answer where he was trying to sell himself as a ‘normal’ person that people would want to vote for. When asked if he thinks he’s normal he replied; ‘I’m glad you think I’m normal. I am normal.
— Sky News (@SkyNews) July 18, 2016
‘I grew up in a normal household. I’ve got a wife and three children. My wife is a primary school teacher. I’ve been in Parliament for six years, before that I had two or three other jobs, in business, in politics, in advising the peace process in Northern Ireland.’
The MP for Pontypridd and Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions quickly came under fire when people interpreted the comment to mean that he was saying that having a wife and children made him ‘normal’ in comparison to Angela Eagle, who is openly lesbian and married.
Whilst some have condemned the comment completely as being homophobic others have pointed out that it was probably unintentional, but still paints him in a poor light.
This comment has also been compared to what was recently said by Andrea Leadsom during the Conservative leadership race, where she said that she would be the better choice for leader as she was a mother and her opponent had no children.