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Ed Balls: MP Should Apologise For Pfizer Rape Comparison

Wednesday 14th May 2014

The Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls has told LBC a Labour MP should apologise for comparing US drugs giant Pfizer's attempt to take over AstraZeneca with rape.

Austin Mitchell made the controversial comment on Twitter:

"I'm not going to say sorry, that would be silly," Mr Mitchell told LBC's Iain Dale earlier.

"I've said I wish I'd used the word rapaciousness."

However appearing on LBC to answer questions as part of Call Balls the Shadow Chancellor said he thought Mr Mitchell should apologise for the comment.

"It was a very, very stupid thing to say and it was an offensive thing to say," Ed Balls told Iain.

"We've all known Austin for years, he's standing down at the next election. He's what people call 'a character' but characters can also say offensive and stupid things and if I was him I'd reflect on this for half an hour and apologise.

"I think that somebody who says something really stupid on Twitter should apologise and I think the Party thought he'd taken action and as you said it doesn't seem that way," Mr Balls continued.

"I'm sure that the powers that be within our party and the Chief Whip Rosie Winterton will be looking at this one but I'm not sure it is a disciplinary action, I think it is stupid and he should apologise but those are for people other than me to decide."

Watch Ed Balls on LBC in full