October 22 2014 Latest news:
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
An Englishman, an Irishman and the Queen were at the centre of a furore caused by a “ghastly” joke.
Ryanair chief Michael O’Leary discovered last week that you can never tell how a risky comment about “making love” to Her Majesty will go down when addressing a room full of UK MP’s.
Kicking off his speech at a British-Irish assembly in Dublin ahead of Irish President Michael D Higgins’ visit to England, Mr O’Leary said: “Addressing such an august body as this reminds me much of making love to the Queen of England – you know it is a great honour, you’re just not sure how much pleasure it is going to be.”
The comments touched a nerve with assembly member and Romford Tory MP, Andrew Rosindell, a staunch royalist who demanded an apology for the “vulgar” remark.
He told the Recorder: “I was representing British Parliament in Dublin. Everyone was taken aback when he said it. It was offensive, not only to British MP’s but also to the Irish members. It was ill-judged - I got up and I asked him to withdraw his comments.”
The outspoken businessman, known for his controversial sense of humour, subsequently apologised, adding it was “hard to judge the room” and that the joke “normally works quite well.”
Andrew is known for his love of the Union Jack, and is often seen with his flag-clad Staffordshire bull terrier, Buster. He is also famed for giving out portraits of the Queen, a trend he started in 2002 during the Golden Jubilee.
In 2012 he introduced his United Kingdom Borders Bill to the Commons, in an attempt to ensure a portrait of the monarch was displayed at all international entry points to the UK.
The bill, which was not passed, also sought to rename the UK Border Agency “HM Border Police” to “reflect and recognise the role of the Queen in protecting the border of the land she reigns.”