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Crawley MP defends insulting Tweet directed at Russian president Vladimir Putin
An MP has defended swearing on his Twitter page because of the “serious point behind the message”.
Crawley MP Henry Smith took to Twitter yesterday to brand Vladimir Putin a “t****r”.
The MP was responding to reports that Putin had dismissed Britain as “just a small island” no one pays attention to.
The statement was said to be made in St Petersburg where world leaders, including David Cameron, have gathered for the G20 summit.
Mr Smith’s comments came as Mr Cameron ruled out any prospect of an international agreement over Syria, because Mr Putin remains “miles away” from the truth of Assad’s use of chemical weapons on his own people.
Mr Smith said he was “amazed” at the attention he has received after making the comment.
He said: “I made the comment off the cuff when I saw what was happening at the G20 summit.
“I wouldn’t normally use such language but there is a serious point behind my message.
“Putin seriously abuses human rights, with his stance on gay marriage for example. He is currently prolonging the Syrian war by preventing a UN solution.”
Mr Smith acknowledged the language was not parliamentary but said it did express how he felt about the Russian leader.
He continued: “The final straw was when he insulted our country, which for the record has a far better human rights record than Russia.
“While I don’t usually use such language, I believe there are occasions when swearing is appropriate.”
The tweet has received a mixed response. At the time of print, the tweet has been retweeted 627 times.
One commenter, SuperSoccerSite, said: “Silly comment as an MP you should know better.”
Another user Quaristice, said: “Go on Henry, dare you to tell that to his face.”
Mr Smith added: “It is a sad reflection this comment gets picked up within minutes, and a tweet about a charity meeting I had today doesn’t get the same attention.”
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