Why hasn't David Cameron sacked Bill Aitken for joking about rape?

The Glasgow side street where a woman was raped and (inset) Bill Aitken MSP

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A gang rape isn’t a subject that should elicit snide quips and disbelieving laughter. It’s now five days since a full transcript of leading Tory Bill Aitken doing exactly that was leaked to the New Statesman — so why hasn’t David Cameron ordered him to resign? Unbelievably, Aitken is the head of the Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee.

In the early hours of 11 February, a 38-year old woman was raped by three men in what was described by Strathclyde police as “a terrifying and extremely distressing attack”. In conversation with a Sunday Herald reporter, however, Aitken suggested that the victim was a prostitute

Aitken: Well, I really think we need to know a bit more about these. They are not always as they seem to be, put it that way.

Reporter: How do you mean?

Aitken: Errr. Well. If I was a woman up a lane.

Aitken goes on to say that “it is an area where quite a lot of the hookers take their clients” before literally laughing at the suggestion that the woman could have been dragged into an adjacent side street:

Reporter: She was raped in Renfrew Lane, but she was dragged off Renfield Street. I might be wrong.

Aitken: She must have been dragged about half a mile then. [LAUGHS] … If this woman was dragged halfway through the town, then it just couldn’t possibly happen.

Aitken may have survived this long owing to a parliamentary recess. As MSPs return to Holyrood, however, their minds may focus on the Conservative member for Glasgow and the motion calling for his resignation to be tabled later today by Green Patrick Harvie.

Tomorrow’s meeting of the Justice Committee will be fatal for Aitken if his colleagues move against him.

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2 Comments

  1. NEW –> Why hasn't David Cameron sacked the Tory who joked about a gang rape? http://bit.ly/fj9KlZ

  2. RT @psbook: NEW –> Why hasn't David Cameron sacked the Tory who joked about a gang rape? http://bit.ly/fj9KlZ

  3. Erghh RT @psbook Why hasn't David Cameron sacked the Tory who joked about a gang rape? http://bit.ly/fj9KlZ

  4. RT @psbook: NEW –> Why hasn't David Cameron sacked the Tory who joked about a gang rape? http://bit.ly/fj9KlZ

  5. RT @psbook: NEW –> Why hasn't David Cameron sacked the Tory who joked about a gang rape? http://bit.ly/fj9KlZ

  6. RT @psbook NEW –> Why hasn't David Cameron sacked the Tory who joked about a gang rape? http://bit.ly/fj9KlZ

  7. Rosa says:

    RT @twp1977: RT @vmrampulla: NEW –> Why hasn't David Cameron sacked the Tory who joked about a gang rape? http://bit.ly/fj9KlZ @livb …

  8. M says:

    RT @psbook NEW —-> Why hasn't David Cameron sacked the Tory who joked about a gang rape? http://bit.ly/fj9KlZ

  9. Quiestion still unanswered? Why hasn’t David Cameron sacked Bill Aitken for joking about rape? | Political Scrapbook http://t.co/Ymnkc04

  10. RT @psbook: Why hasn't David Cameron sacked Bill Aitken for joking about rape? http://bit.ly/ecwBcO

  11. RT @psbook: NEW –> Why hasn't David Cameron sacked the Tory who joked about a gang rape? http://bit.ly/fj9KlZ

  12. RT @twp1977: RT @vmrampulla: NEW –> Why hasn't David Cameron sacked the Tory who joked about a gang rape? http://bit.ly/fj9KlZ @livb …

  13. RT @twp1977: RT @vmrampulla: NEW –> Why hasn't David Cameron sacked the Tory who joked about a gang rape? http://bit.ly/fj9KlZ @livb …

  14. RT @psbook: NEW –> Why hasn't David Cameron sacked the Tory who joked about a gang rape? http://bit.ly/fj9KlZ

  15. RT @psbook: NEW –> Why hasn't David Cameron sacked the Tory who joked about a gang rape? http://bit.ly/fj9KlZ

  16. Jenna says:

    Why hasn't David Cameron sacked Bill Aitken for joking about rape …: BUILD THE PRESSURE ON AITKEN BY JOINING T… http://bit.ly/hGvGfM

  17. Tory Bill Aitken thinks rape is a laughing matter… and is head of the Scottish Parliament's Justice Committee… http://bit.ly/feGvOQ

  18. RT @psbook: NEW –> Why hasn't David Cameron sacked the Tory who joked about a gang rape? http://bit.ly/fj9KlZ

  19. George says:

    why hasn’t David Cameron ordered him to resign?

    Quite simple… David Cameron has no say in the matter. He’s not Aitken’s boss. Welcome to devolution, 12 years late ;0)

    Annabell Goldie, however, is his boss…

  20. @George: Yes, we know. But this should be an issue of moral leadership for Cameron.

    As for devolution … what was the Tories’ stance on that in the 1990s again?

  21. RT @psbook: NEW –> Why hasn't David Cameron sacked the Tory who joked about a gang rape? http://bit.ly/fj9KlZ

  22. RT @psbook: NEW –> Why hasn't David Cameron sacked the Tory who joked about a gang rape? http://bit.ly/fj9KlZ

  23. Jos Bell says:

    RT @Lefty_Lisa: RT @psbook: NEW –> Why hasn't David Cameron sacked the Tory who joked about a gang rape? http://bit.ly/fj9KlZ

  24. L DTUC says:

    RT @psbook: NEW –> Why hasn't David Cameron sacked the Tory who joked about a gang rape? http://bit.ly/fj9KlZ

  25. RT @richsimcox: Tories, lovely aren't they?… http://bit.ly/eCOBpQ

  26. Fran says:

    RT @richsimcox: Tories, lovely aren't they?… http://bit.ly/eCOBpQ

  27. RT @psbook: Why hasn't David Cameron sacked Bill Aitken for joking about rape? http://bit.ly/ecwBcO

  28. FawnDoo says:

    RT @richsimcox: Tories, lovely aren't they?… http://bit.ly/eCOBpQ

  29. RT @psbook: Why hasn't David Cameron sacked Bill Aitken 4 joking abt rape? http://bit.ly/ecwBcO Protest outside Scot Parliament 2moz at 10am

  30. RT @psbook: NEW –> Why hasn't David Cameron sacked the Tory who joked about a gang rape? http://bit.ly/fj9KlZ

  31. Scottish Labour have called for Bill Aitken to be sacked over his rape comments. Background: http://bit.ly/eCOBpQ

  32. RT @psbook: Scottish Labour have called for Bill Aitken to be sacked over his rape comments. Background: http://bit.ly/eCOBpQ

  33. Tory joking about a rape should be sacked http://bit.ly/eCOBpQ

  34. RT @CptFlint: Tory joking about a rape should be sacked http://bit.ly/eCOBpQ

  35. kirst says:

    RT @psbook: Scottish Labour have called for Bill Aitken to be sacked over his rape comments. Background: http://bit.ly/eCOBpQ

  36. [...] Political Scrapbook also asked why Aitken hadn’t stepped down this afternoon. By around 5pm, Aitken finally relented. In a speech in the Scottish Parliament in December I said: “… no one would take a more serious view of violence against any woman than I would. Human trafficking, for any purpose, is totally unacceptable. The courts must react, and everyone is entitled to their protection. That is especially true in the case of many prostitutes, who work in a very vulnerable situation.” [...]

  37. [...] the chair of the Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee for more than a week following his outrageous comments on a gang rape, pressure from women’s charities and opposition parties has forced his [...]

  38. RT @psbook: Why hasn't David Cameron sacked Bill Aitken for joking about rape? Oh wait I forget, Tories have no souls.. http://bit.ly/ecwBcO

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