Carol Vorderman: Shaun Bailey’s comments are ‘pathetic’

Presenter Carol Vorderman has hit back at Shaun Bailey after the Tory politician addressed his comments about her on GB News last week.

Carol Vorderman: Shaun Bailey's comments are 'pathetic'
Carol Vorderman: Shaun Bailey’s comments are ‘pathetic’

“On one hand, she’s a serious political commentator, and then if you look at her Instagram, it’s all pictures of her bum and her boobs. What is it? She can’t be both,” he said at the time.

He later told the BBC it was a “clumsy form of words”.

Vorderman told the BBC: “This is not an apology.”

Soon after Lord Bailey’s comments were broadcast on GB News, the hashtag #SexistShaun began trending.

In a statement on Thursday, Lord Bailey told the BBC: “In a recent panel discussion, I used a clumsy form of words to describe Carol Vorderman’s Instagram posts.

“The point I was trying to make is Carol lives in a world of glitz and celebrity, as her Instagram portrays, but simultaneously demonises and bullies those who hold different political views to her own. I strongly support free speech.

“I don’t support bullying.”

Vorderman responded: “Shaun Bailey’s response is pathetic. This is not an apology, it’s yet another excuse for appalling behaviour, followed by another attack on me.

“Shaun Bailey didn’t apologise for his role in the ‘jingle and mingle’ Partygate party until it was discovered by the press. He had to resign from two London Assembly Committees because of it. Johnson put him into the House of Lords. So he is a rule breaker and now a rule maker.”In proper politics, using his form of words, he ‘can’t be both’.

“As for his new dog-whistle attack on me – the Tory party has bullied the public through their policies and mistruths for years. Certain elements of right wing media and TV have published offensive material about me since I had the ‘temerity’ to debate politics.”

Carol Vorderman: Shaun Bailey's comments are 'pathetic'
Carol Vorderman: Shaun Bailey’s comments are ‘pathetic’

Former London mayoral candidate Lord Bailey, who was given a seat in the House of Lords in ex-Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s resignation honours list, said in July he had previously apologised “unreservedly” for the Partygate event.

He said it had “turned into something” after he left.

During the Partygate scandal, a photograph of Lord Bailey taking part in a gathering which was alleged to have broken Covid restrictions was published in the Daily Mirror.

The party was organised by his team. At the time, he was running to be London mayor. He resigned as chair of the police and crime committee and the economy committee in the London Assembly as a result, but still sits on the former, along with the fire, resilience and emergency planning committee. He is also chair of the housing committee.

Vorderman added: “What Shaun Bailey and the rest of his ilk don’t like is that those of us without a voice have found a voice.

“All of us who felt that way speak as one. It is Shaun Bailey and those Conservatives like him who are the bullies. It’s laughable they are so thin-skinned because, quite simply, they can’t argue with a woman about the subject matter.

“To quote their heroine Margaret Thatcher, ‘If they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left’.”

Speaking about Lord Bailey’s latest statement, Vorderman added: “Shaun Bailey has dug himself an even bigger hole.

“This isn’t about me. It’s about what some people in power think about women.”

The BBC also contacted GB News, who said they were making no comment.

Vorderman’s supporters included Ava Evans, the reporter who Laurence Fox made disparaging remarks about, also on GB News.

Fox was subsequently sacked from the channel. The host of the show he was appearing on, Dan Wootton, is still suspended following the incident.

‘Ripped up the celebrity rulebook’

Vorderman told the BBC she would be contacting the chair of the Women and Equalities committee, Conservative MP Caroline Nokes, and the chief whip in the House of Lords about Lord Bailey’s comments. The BBC has also contacted Ms Nokes and Lords chief whip Baroness Williams for comments.

When asked if abuse on social media ever gets too much for her, Vorderman said: “Not once. The more it happens, it makes me stronger… voices like me have found a community together. We will hold people to account, if that means we get abuse, then so be it.”

She said misogyny was a culture. “It aims to demean, humiliate, put the little woman in the corner.

“I’m post-menopause. I have ripped up the celebrity rulebook. I’m here without apology and without fear.”

‘I must leave’

Vorderman left her weekly BBC Wales radio show last year after her criticism of the government on social media broke the BBC’s new social media guidelines.

She said at the time that she was not “prepared to lose my voice on social media”, and managers “have decided I must leave”.

Her posts on X in recent months have said the current Conservative Party “needs to be utterly dismantled at the next election” and that she wants to stop the “vile government clinging onto power for a day longer”.

There are now stricter impartiality rules for the hosts of selected “flagship programmes” like Match of the Day, Strictly Come Dancing and The Apprentice.

All BBC staff and freelancers are also “required to respect civility in public discourse and to not bring the BBC into disrepute”, the new guidelines say.

Vorderman’s Radio Wales show was not on the “flagship” list, and the issue with her posts is understood to have been to do with civility, rather than impartiality.

She first came to prominence when she worked on Channel 4 show Countdown.

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