Sorry - Labour candidate John O'Farrell apologises for wishing Margaret Thatcher had been killed by IRA

Labour leader Ed Miliband (right) with by election candidate John O'Farrell campaigning in Eastleigh

Labour leader Ed Miliband (right) with by election candidate John O'Farrell campaigning in Eastleigh

First published in News
Last updated
Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

LABOUR'S by-election candidate John O'Farrell has apologised for any upset his comments wishing Margaret Thatcher had been killed in a terrorist attack might have caused.

He has been condemned for saying he was disappointed that the assassination attempt - the IRA bombing of Brighton's Grand Hotel in 1984 - had failed.

Mr O'Farrell, speaking in Eastleigh today, said what he had written in his memoirs was an honest account of how he felt “for a split second” at the time, which he had then realised was wrong.

“I could write a book where I said I was a good person, I was a good person, I was a good person,” he said.

“I had a fleeting bad thought. I was an angry young man in the middle of the miners' strike.

“A terrible thought came into my head and I immediately castigated myself for it.

“I was honest because I said how I felt for a split second at the time.”

He said it was not his view now and had been taken out of context.

“I ask everyone to read that book and I think they'll want to vote for me more not less.

“I apologise for the upset to Tebbit and everyone concerned because I didn't want it taken out of context.

“If I wrote that book again I'd have to think about whether a combination of honest writer and politician could work."

The satirist wrote in the book published in 1998: “Why did she have to leave the bathroom two minutes earlier?”

He was referring to the fact that Lady Thatcher's bathroom was destroyed in the explosion, which claimed the lives of five people.

In response, Former Conservative Party chairman Lord Tebbit, whose wife was paralysed in the blast, has described Mr O'Farrell as an “incontinently voiced moral reprobate”.

Cllr Godfrey Olson, the leader of the Conservative group at Eastleigh Borough Council, has branded the comments “deplorable”.

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Comments (30)

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2:55pm Mon 18 Feb 13

aldermoorboy says...

Replace him, he does not deserve to be in this election.
He will be beaten.
Replace him, he does not deserve to be in this election. He will be beaten. aldermoorboy
  • Score: 0

2:57pm Mon 18 Feb 13

NetleyNed says...

I hope he loses hid deposit.
I hope he loses hid deposit. NetleyNed
  • Score: 0

3:09pm Mon 18 Feb 13

Subject48 says...

“I ask everyone to read that book and I think they'll want to vote for me more not less.

kerching!!! Very clever sir. very clever.
“I ask everyone to read that book and I think they'll want to vote for me more not less. kerching!!! Very clever sir. very clever. Subject48
  • Score: 0

3:23pm Mon 18 Feb 13

Lost northern bird says...

He certainly is not the first politician to say something he regrets...stones and glass houses springs to mind!
He certainly is not the first politician to say something he regrets...stones and glass houses springs to mind! Lost northern bird
  • Score: 0

3:27pm Mon 18 Feb 13

sfby says...

NetleyNed wrote:
I hope he loses hid deposit.
He's a Labour candidate.

In Eastleigh.

I think your wish may come true.

However, he is still a very funny writer.
[quote][p][bold]NetleyNed[/bold] wrote: I hope he loses hid deposit.[/p][/quote]He's a Labour candidate. In Eastleigh. I think your wish may come true. However, he is still a very funny writer. sfby
  • Score: 0

3:28pm Mon 18 Feb 13

sparkster says...

Im glad he has apologised, sadly a lot of politicians suffer from foot in mouth disease
Im glad he has apologised, sadly a lot of politicians suffer from foot in mouth disease sparkster
  • Score: 0

3:35pm Mon 18 Feb 13

The Wickham Man says...

What is it with the hard left that they cannot even tolerate anyone not totally agreeing with everything they say? At the time he wished our prime minister assassinated all his socialist friends would have congratulated him and patted his back for saying it. Now he's such a coward and a hypocrite he won;t even stand behind his own words.
Instead he's magically turned into a moderate smiling kind decent chap who much prefers a good friendly conversation with his electors. Like hell he has. Send him packing Eastleigh. Humiliate him.
What is it with the hard left that they cannot even tolerate anyone not totally agreeing with everything they say? At the time he wished our prime minister assassinated all his socialist friends would have congratulated him and patted his back for saying it. Now he's such a coward and a hypocrite he won;t even stand behind his own words. Instead he's magically turned into a moderate smiling kind decent chap who much prefers a good friendly conversation with his electors. Like hell he has. Send him packing Eastleigh. Humiliate him. The Wickham Man
  • Score: 0

3:42pm Mon 18 Feb 13

sburman says...

beer,baccy & crumpet party for me, al least he knows he's an idiot
beer,baccy & crumpet party for me, al least he knows he's an idiot sburman
  • Score: 0

4:11pm Mon 18 Feb 13

CharlieOxbridge says...

and they call the Tory party the nasty party. These Socialists are the nastiest of the bunch! vote UKIP and get yourself a straight talking politician, Diane James
and they call the Tory party the nasty party. These Socialists are the nastiest of the bunch! vote UKIP and get yourself a straight talking politician, Diane James CharlieOxbridge
  • Score: 0

4:32pm Mon 18 Feb 13

MGRA says...

this maggot will loose his deposit.... simples...
this maggot will loose his deposit.... simples... MGRA
  • Score: 0

4:53pm Mon 18 Feb 13

Linesman says...

Subject48 wrote:
“I ask everyone to read that book and I think they'll want to vote for me more not less.

kerching!!! Very clever sir. very clever.
You do not have to pay to use the library or are you not very clever and did not know that?
[quote][p][bold]Subject48[/bold] wrote: “I ask everyone to read that book and I think they'll want to vote for me more not less. kerching!!! Very clever sir. very clever.[/p][/quote]You do not have to pay to use the library or are you not very clever and did not know that? Linesman
  • Score: 0

5:10pm Mon 18 Feb 13

Maine Lobster says...

Lost northern bird wrote:
He certainly is not the first politician to say something he regrets...stones and glass houses springs to mind!
Quite. There are many politicians on all sides of the house who have done or said offensive things to different people. It happened nearly 30 years ago. Move on.
His chances of winning for Labour in Eastleigh are about as good as the Tories winning in Glasgow Govan. It won't have any bearing on the outcome of the by election. Expect UKIP to do well though!
[quote][p][bold]Lost northern bird[/bold] wrote: He certainly is not the first politician to say something he regrets...stones and glass houses springs to mind![/p][/quote]Quite. There are many politicians on all sides of the house who have done or said offensive things to different people. It happened nearly 30 years ago. Move on. His chances of winning for Labour in Eastleigh are about as good as the Tories winning in Glasgow Govan. It won't have any bearing on the outcome of the by election. Expect UKIP to do well though! Maine Lobster
  • Score: 0

5:11pm Mon 18 Feb 13

cantthinkofone says...

I'm impressed that so many on here have such gleaming halos.
I'm impressed that so many on here have such gleaming halos. cantthinkofone
  • Score: 0

5:38pm Mon 18 Feb 13

AD1234 says...

For the sake of your grandchildren, take courage, reject tactical voting and reject tribal voting, and set us on a new path - vote UKIP.

We've got to start somewhere, and this could be the chance to reject the tired and corrupt LibLabCon-trick.

Read this before giving yet another vote to the complacent OLD parties...

http://www.ukip.org/
content/ukip-policie
s
For the sake of your grandchildren, take courage, reject tactical voting and reject tribal voting, and set us on a new path - vote UKIP. We've got to start somewhere, and this could be the chance to reject the tired and corrupt LibLabCon-trick. Read this before giving yet another vote to the complacent OLD parties... http://www.ukip.org/ content/ukip-policie s AD1234
  • Score: 0

5:40pm Mon 18 Feb 13

sarfhamton says...

He made the comments in 1998, its hardly news
He made the comments in 1998, its hardly news sarfhamton
  • Score: 0

6:13pm Mon 18 Feb 13

Stillness says...

Anyone remotely interested in becoming a politician should be ruled out of any election. The very fact that they want to be a politician is a fair indication that they are only interested in their own well being. Vote for me as your new ruler and I'll make sure that you all get what you deserve, especially southy.
Anyone remotely interested in becoming a politician should be ruled out of any election. The very fact that they want to be a politician is a fair indication that they are only interested in their own well being. Vote for me as your new ruler and I'll make sure that you all get what you deserve, especially southy. Stillness
  • Score: 0

6:16pm Mon 18 Feb 13

jiblet says...

Lost northern bird wrote:
He certainly is not the first politician to say something he regrets...stones and glass houses springs to mind!
So you think it's ok to publically wish somebody dead???? Name me another politician who has done that?..............m
oron
[quote][p][bold]Lost northern bird[/bold] wrote: He certainly is not the first politician to say something he regrets...stones and glass houses springs to mind![/p][/quote]So you think it's ok to publically wish somebody dead???? Name me another politician who has done that?..............m oron jiblet
  • Score: 0

7:20pm Mon 18 Feb 13

elvisimo says...

jiblet wrote:
Lost northern bird wrote: He certainly is not the first politician to say something he regrets...stones and glass houses springs to mind!
So you think it's ok to publically wish somebody dead???? Name me another politician who has done that?..............m oron
no I think you are the moron - have an opinon instead of just abusing.

If you want a few examples of "unsuitable" behaviour:
John Prescotts punch up.
Diane Abbot racist tweets
Aiden Burley - Nazi Birthday Party
Jonathan Aitken - prison
Jeffery Archer - prison
David Chaytor - prison

think you need to learn the concept of context. As for his comment - you have had 15 years to be offended.
[quote][p][bold]jiblet[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Lost northern bird[/bold] wrote: He certainly is not the first politician to say something he regrets...stones and glass houses springs to mind![/p][/quote]So you think it's ok to publically wish somebody dead???? Name me another politician who has done that?..............m oron[/p][/quote]no I think you are the moron - have an opinon instead of just abusing. If you want a few examples of "unsuitable" behaviour: John Prescotts punch up. Diane Abbot racist tweets Aiden Burley - Nazi Birthday Party Jonathan Aitken - prison Jeffery Archer - prison David Chaytor - prison think you need to learn the concept of context. As for his comment - you have had 15 years to be offended. elvisimo
  • Score: 0

7:31pm Mon 18 Feb 13

MGRA says...

you can argue this till the cows come home, but it does not alter the fact the guy is clearly a sociapath and only the utterly deranged or labotomised would vote for him.....
you can argue this till the cows come home, but it does not alter the fact the guy is clearly a sociapath and only the utterly deranged or labotomised would vote for him..... MGRA
  • Score: 0

7:33pm Mon 18 Feb 13

Paramjit Bahia says...

Linesman wrote:
Subject48 wrote: “I ask everyone to read that book and I think they'll want to vote for me more not less. kerching!!! Very clever sir. very clever.
You do not have to pay to use the library or are you not very clever and did not know that?
How come you are not aware Tory run Hampshire has cut the budget for libraries, because even they are under pressure from ConDem Coaltion government?
[quote][p][bold]Linesman[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Subject48[/bold] wrote: “I ask everyone to read that book and I think they'll want to vote for me more not less. kerching!!! Very clever sir. very clever.[/p][/quote]You do not have to pay to use the library or are you not very clever and did not know that?[/p][/quote]How come you are not aware Tory run Hampshire has cut the budget for libraries, because even they are under pressure from ConDem Coaltion government? Paramjit Bahia
  • Score: 0

7:50pm Mon 18 Feb 13

skin2000 says...

elvisimo wrote:
jiblet wrote:
Lost northern bird wrote: He certainly is not the first politician to say something he regrets...stones and glass houses springs to mind!
So you think it's ok to publically wish somebody dead???? Name me another politician who has done that?..............m oron
no I think you are the moron - have an opinon instead of just abusing.

If you want a few examples of "unsuitable" behaviour:
John Prescotts punch up.
Diane Abbot racist tweets
Aiden Burley - Nazi Birthday Party
Jonathan Aitken - prison
Jeffery Archer - prison
David Chaytor - prison

think you need to learn the concept of context. As for his comment - you have had 15 years to be offended.
There might be a few more to add onto that list after operation Fairbank.
[quote][p][bold]elvisimo[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]jiblet[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Lost northern bird[/bold] wrote: He certainly is not the first politician to say something he regrets...stones and glass houses springs to mind![/p][/quote]So you think it's ok to publically wish somebody dead???? Name me another politician who has done that?..............m oron[/p][/quote]no I think you are the moron - have an opinon instead of just abusing. If you want a few examples of "unsuitable" behaviour: John Prescotts punch up. Diane Abbot racist tweets Aiden Burley - Nazi Birthday Party Jonathan Aitken - prison Jeffery Archer - prison David Chaytor - prison think you need to learn the concept of context. As for his comment - you have had 15 years to be offended.[/p][/quote]There might be a few more to add onto that list after operation Fairbank. skin2000
  • Score: 0

7:57pm Mon 18 Feb 13

Paramjit Bahia says...

O'Farrel has done the right thing by issuing an apology.

When are his foul opponents going to do that for insulting whole of certain nation and hard working teachers of Schools in Eastleigh area, who have done exceptionally well despite Tory run Hampshire?

My own view. I have never been keen on Tories especially Thatcher but killing people to make a political point has always been and in my opinion remain a very wrong thing to do.

Nice to know as young man O'Farral felt strongly about what Tories had done to miners, hope he still remembers that and starts demanding from his party to campaign for full enquiry into police behaviour on picket lines in Yorkshire, about which truth has started to emerge even from former police officers following real information about Hills borough.

Also why full information about trade unionists including actor Tomnilson, who were framed are not being made available to them? Why even thachearised NuLabour government kept on frustrating him and his colleagues?
O'Farrel has done the right thing by issuing an apology. When are his foul opponents going to do that for insulting whole of certain nation and hard working teachers of Schools in Eastleigh area, who have done exceptionally well despite Tory run Hampshire? My own view. I have never been keen on Tories especially Thatcher but killing people to make a political point has always been and in my opinion remain a very wrong thing to do. Nice to know as young man O'Farral felt strongly about what Tories had done to miners, hope he still remembers that and starts demanding from his party to campaign for full enquiry into police behaviour on picket lines in Yorkshire, about which truth has started to emerge even from former police officers following real information about Hills borough. Also why full information about trade unionists including actor Tomnilson, who were framed are not being made available to them? Why even thachearised NuLabour government kept on frustrating him and his colleagues? Paramjit Bahia
  • Score: 0

8:02pm Mon 18 Feb 13

Lone Ranger. says...

MGRA wrote:
you can argue this till the cows come home, but it does not alter the fact the guy is clearly a sociapath and only the utterly deranged or labotomised would vote for him.....
What someon like yourself ....... Makes sense now
[quote][p][bold]MGRA[/bold] wrote: you can argue this till the cows come home, but it does not alter the fact the guy is clearly a sociapath and only the utterly deranged or labotomised would vote for him.....[/p][/quote]What someon like yourself ....... Makes sense now Lone Ranger.
  • Score: 0

11:25pm Mon 18 Feb 13

southy says...

http://www.trueactiv
ist.com/gab_gallery/
12-year-old-girl-get
s-it-why-dont-you/

http://www.youtube.c
om/watch?v=sxnM82SRE
_0
http://www.trueactiv ist.com/gab_gallery/ 12-year-old-girl-get s-it-why-dont-you/ http://www.youtube.c om/watch?v=sxnM82SRE _0 southy
  • Score: 0

10:36am Tue 19 Feb 13

Ed Lavender says...

I have read the book and passed it on to someone to enjoy also - its a funny look back on the trials and tribulations of being a Labour supporter before Blair got into power. Its very amusing and unless you have read it I dont think any of your posts have any relevence..... and I'm a Tory !!!....
I have read the book and passed it on to someone to enjoy also - its a funny look back on the trials and tribulations of being a Labour supporter before Blair got into power. Its very amusing and unless you have read it I dont think any of your posts have any relevence..... and I'm a Tory !!!.... Ed Lavender
  • Score: 0

12:16pm Tue 19 Feb 13

Polly Staight says...

...I'm a Tory !!!....

Brave lad admitting that, bearing in mind how disappointing it must be to see what sort of leadership you follow.
...I'm a Tory !!!.... Brave lad admitting that, bearing in mind how disappointing it must be to see what sort of leadership you follow. Polly Staight
  • Score: 0

1:48pm Tue 19 Feb 13

Hopkino says...

It would appear that O'Farrell has as much qualification as a majority of elected councillors for Southampton - Questionable.

One elected councillor - Whitbread, representing Redbridge - has never had paid mainstream employment in his life and yet sits on the panel for employment tribunal...... Your life in their hands.

Pot, Kettle?

Same old story for Southampton unfortunately. Recent government 'award' resulted in the contribution of over £600,000 to their already swelling councillors fund, I mean slush fund.
Whilst there is a common opinion of one party being as bad as the other, is it not about time that these party political campaigns of self promoted ego is stopped ?
It would appear that O'Farrell has as much qualification as a majority of elected councillors for Southampton - Questionable. One elected councillor - Whitbread, representing Redbridge - has never had paid mainstream employment in his life and yet sits on the panel for employment tribunal...... Your life in their hands. Pot, Kettle? Same old story for Southampton unfortunately. Recent government 'award' resulted in the contribution of over £600,000 to their already swelling councillors fund, I mean slush fund. Whilst there is a common opinion of one party being as bad as the other, is it not about time that these party political campaigns of self promoted ego is stopped ? Hopkino
  • Score: 0

6:30pm Tue 19 Feb 13

6079 Smith W says...

Can't way for the evil old witch to die, and I hope it's in a lot of pain, with an awful lot of suffering. So I'm like all decent people in that respect, along with these Liverpool fans, who know exactly how far up the food chain the Hillsborough conspiracy went.
http://www.youtube.c
om/watch?v=x-4FJcnX0
i8
Can't way for the evil old witch to die, and I hope it's in a lot of pain, with an awful lot of suffering. So I'm like all decent people in that respect, along with these Liverpool fans, who know exactly how far up the food chain the Hillsborough conspiracy went. http://www.youtube.c om/watch?v=x-4FJcnX0 i8 6079 Smith W
  • Score: 0

2:37am Wed 20 Feb 13

Dan Soton says...

Thank you John for stepping outside the culture of the Labour Party and into the fresh air of reality.


You've made Have I Got News for You watchable again.
Thank you John for stepping outside the culture of the Labour Party and into the fresh air of reality. You've made Have I Got News for You watchable again. Dan Soton
  • Score: 0

10:44am Sat 23 Feb 13

colorado kid says...

Thankfully this is the first time and hopefully the last time this lowlife maggot will stand for parliament,I for one am really looking forward to seeing him humiliated on Thursday night,one other thing,it would appear that his leader Red Ed Milliband has not disagreed with this moron's comments.
Thankfully this is the first time and hopefully the last time this lowlife maggot will stand for parliament,I for one am really looking forward to seeing him humiliated on Thursday night,one other thing,it would appear that his leader Red Ed Milliband has not disagreed with this moron's comments. colorado kid
  • Score: 0

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