(c) Doc Hackenbush 2014
This caused him to face severely adverse criticism, and Hunt later resigned his honorary position at University College, London. He told the BBC he “‘did mean’ the remarks but was ‘really sorry’”. That was 19 days ago. But in the meantime, the Sun and Daily Mail have tried to push the idea that Hunt either didn’t say what was attributed to him, or he was misunderstood, or he didn’t really give offence, or that his accuser was dishonest.
And, as the first paper to indulge in whataboutery over Hunt’s comments was the Murdoch Times, it should surprise no-one that (thankfully) former Tory MP Louise Mensch has gone off on one about the story - and is still at it, two and a half weeks later. “He said it in a very lighthearted manner with no outward hint of malice, condescension, or derision” she claims of Hunt’s remarks, omitting that this was someone’s opinion, delivered after the event.
There was more. Rather a lot more. David Colquhoun was subjected to so much Twitter aggression he called Ms Mensch out for harassment: “in particular you personally advocated #TimHunt not receive due process on Twitter” she demanded. “Can you explain if you ‘Established facts’ by speaking to Connie St Louis only or her colluders” she demanded, including Dorothy Bishop for good measure.
Then came the derisory “I’m writing a blog about you” threat: “Thanks. On record. Later today blogging up your involvement as suggested by your Twitter … I have of course screenshot your tweets so there will be no point in deleting … There will be two #TimHunt blogs - the reporting is already thoroughly discredit[ed]”. And on she ranted.
To Colquhoun’s protest of harassment, there was only “on your own heads if you do not respond to the questions before I publish”. Ms Bishop’s gentle suggestion that Ms Mensch ask herself how she’d feel if Young Dave had made the remarks - like the Angela Eagle “calm down, dear” and Nadine Dorries “extremely frustrated” jibes - only met with “what things? Prof Hunt made no comments about women in science he joked against himself”.