Minister Heather Wheeler apologies for Birmingham ‘godawful’ comment - and the internet reacts

Cabinet Office Parliamentary Secretary and Conservative MP for South Derbyshire Heather Wheeler said Blackpool was “godawful” too

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Government minister Heather Wheeler has apologised for calling Birmingham “godawful” - but her comments have prompted a huge backlash with people defending Brum and its brilliance.

The Cabinet Office Parliamentary Secretary and Conservative MP for South Derbyshire said the same of Blackpool during a launch of the government’s new digital strategy in London on Thursday (June 9).

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According to Chris Middleton, a technology journalist who was at the launch, the junior minister in the Cabinet Office said: “I was just at a conference in Blackpool or Birmingham or somewhere godawful.”

He then said that a Cabinet Office official rang him after he first reported Wheeler’s comments saying it was a joke to break the ice.

The government has trumpeted levelling up areas outside London, as one of the cornerstones of its policy platform since being elected in 2019.

Among Labour MPs to criticise Wheeler’s comments was the deputy leader, Angela Rayner, who tweeted: “The mask has slipped. This minister has blurted out what Boris Johnson’s Conservatives really think about our communities behind closed doors. The disrespect is off the scale.

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“Heather Wheeler has put her utter contempt for voters on show.”

Birmingham Labour MP Jess Phillips also spoke out against Wheeler’s comments saying that it was “implied snobbery that was the real problem.

Many more have posted comments on social media in defence of Birmingham, highlighting the beauty of the city and its people. Here are a few of the most popular tweets - let us know what you think too.

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