ITV News reports:

[Labour leadership contender] Liz Kendall told a Mail on Sunday journalist to “fuck off” when she was asked how much she weighed during an interview.

When she was asked what?? For what reason? Was the journalist planning to ship her somewhere? Is there an official weight limit for party leaders?

In the much-criticised article, journalist Simon Walters wrote: “In fact she looks the same weight as the Duchess – about 8st – though when I ask she slaps me down with a raucous ‘fuck off!’, adding quickly: ‘Don’t print that.’”

The Duchess? What duchess? The one in Alice in Wonderland? The one who was married to Andrew Windsor for awhile? The one who’s married to William Windsor? What does a duchess have to do anything? And how sweet of Simon Walters to goad Kendall with a stupid sexist question and then publish what she told him not to publish.

Reacting to the piece, Ms Kendall told BuzzFeed during a BBC Radio 5 Live segment:

I just think it’s unbelievable that in the 21st Century women still get asked such very, very different questions from men.

Can you imagine the Mail on Sunday asking the weight of the prime minister, George Osborne or any other leading politician?

Nope. It wouldn’t happen. (I suppose it could happen in a very particular kind of interview, a hair down, personal, backgrounder sort of interview that went into stuff about home life and exercise and do you jog yadda yadda. But it’s a stretch.)

Helen Lewis shared the relevant part of the article, saving me the misery of having to read the Mail:

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So f***ing patronizing.



  1. iknklast says

    Al Dente, these days I begin to believe that is the appropriate response to a great many questions.

  2. footface says

    When I saw the context—the gist of the whole conversation—my first thought was, “Oh, well, that’s not as bad as it sounded. It’s not like he just asked the weight question out of the blue. ‘Nice to meet you. What do you weigh?'” But then I realized why this is even worse. A whole conversation about humanizing but trivial fluff. Her hobbies, what she’s wearing, what her clothes cost. Are all public figures looked at in the same way? “Hi, Mr. Male Person. Let’s talk about your outfit.”

  3. Dunc says

    I very much doubt you’d ever see a male politician asked that particular question, no matter what kind of interview it was. He might get asked about his fitness regime, or which tailor he uses, but not about his weight.

    Can we please just burn the Mail to the ground now?

  4. Athywren, Social Justice Weretribble says

    The sad thing is that I knew exactly which Duchess he meant.

    It’s absurd how much of that article is about her clothes. Who cares? Ok, sure, I can think of criticisms of left wing politicians buying expensive clothes, but I really don’t see the point of jumping on the attitude of “oh, you think the poor should be paid well enough that their children can eat healthily and wear clothes, do you? Well, I don’t see you starving in the gutter with no ability to make that a reality! Hypocrisy much?!” Seriously, just fuck off with that shit. And that pathetic headline – “attacks Ed Milliband for worrying about the poor.” No. “We said a lot about the very poor, but too little about the middle classes. We have to help both.” That’s not remotely attacking him for worrying about the poor. That’s a reasonable (and tactically sound) position to hold. If anything, it’s criticising him for not worrying enough about the middle class. (And, ok, I can think of criticisms there too – do the middle class really need that much worrying about right now? If businesses and the obscenely rich would just pay their fucking taxes, probably not.)

    Blargh grargh fnargh.
    This is why I don’t read the daily intelligence insulter. I apologise if this is incoherent, but I’m not proofreading it. I’m going to do something else now. Something that doesn’t involve fantasising about punching daily mail “journalists” in the face.

  5. says

    It would amuse me if, as a show of solidarity, men interviewed by the hack in question could begin each interview by informing him, impromptu, of a) their weight, and b) how they maintain their slinky figure…

    (/Alternatively, fellow reporters asking such questions randomly of male interviewees, all ages, would be kinda sweet, too.)

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