The former mayor of Southwark has compared domestic violence with smacking — and refused to apologise after claiming that some see “benefits” in the crime.
Cllr Columba Blango, who is a colleague of Lib Dem deputy leader Simon Hughes and represents the ward neighbouring his house, has shocked colleagues with his views on the subject:
“It’s like smacking. Some people see the benefits of smacking. Some don’t see it.”
In remarks recorded in official council minutes and later attributed to Blango, the councillor claimed “some perpetrators might not be able to prevent themselves” from slapping their partner in “the spur of the moment.”
When a female councillor suggested he should apologise for comments made in the meeting of Southwark Council’s Education, Children’s Services and Leisure Committee, he dismissed her as being “emotional”.
Fellow Southwark councillor and sometime occupant of the BBC Sunday Politics sofa Rowenna Davis — who was in the car-crash meeting — told Scrapbook that “there’s no room for ambiguity when it comes to domestic violence”:
“I have constituents who suffer from domestic violence. The vast majority of Lib Dems would be appalled by Cllr Blango’s comments. But what does Simon Hughes think of his colleague and a supposed community leader propagating this kind of attitude?”
Perhaps the Lib Dem top brass should “encourage” Columba to apologise.