a clarification and an apology

The Sunday Mirror has claimed today I called people “primitive”. This is a complete misrepresentation of what I said during an interview two weeks ago in another newspaper when discussing poverty in Cumbria. What I said then was “some areas here are pretty primitive”. I apologise if this was in any way unclear, but I meant that there are areas in Cumbria where people lack things, taken for granted in cities, and that these areas need more investment and more public services. It was never a judgement on people. I have already received an apology from the journalist who originally interviewed me.  The Sunday Mirror’s misrepresentation of my words is an insult to the hard-working people of Cumbria. I am investigating raising it with the Press Complaints Commission.  I remain very sorry for any hurt that this misrepresentation may have caused.

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