Britain’s interior minister apologizes for joke about spiking his wife’s drink

James Cleverly, the British interior minister, issued an apology on Sunday after it was revealed that he had made light of the idea of adding a sedative, which is sometimes used to commit date-rape, to his wife’s drink.

Cleverly, one of the most senior ministers in Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s administration, reportedly told female attendees at an event this month that “a little bit” of the substance his wife drinks every night is “not really illegal.” This information was revealed by the newspaper Sunday Mirror.

He reportedly joked that the secret to a long marriage was ensuring your spouse was “someone who is always mildly sedated so she can never realise there are better men out there”.

The newspaper also said it came the same day Cleverly, the minister overseeing law enforcement, announced new measures to tackle drink-spiking, including changes to legislation.

“In what was always understood as a private conversation James, the Home Secretary tackling spiking, made what was clearly meant to be an ironic joke – for which he apologises,” a spokesperson for Cleverly said in a statement.

The Fawcett Society, a women’s rights charity, called on him to resign, while Britain’s opposition Labour Party said Cleverly’s remarks were unbelievable.

“Spiking is a serious & devastating crime,” Labour lawmaker Yvette Cooper, its home affairs policy spokeswoman, said on X, formerly Twitter.

“Truly unbelievable that the Home Secretary in charge of tackling violence against women & girls could think it OK to make jokes like this. How can victims trust him to take this vile crime seriously?”

Labour currently enjoys a strong lead in opinion polls over Britain’s governing Conservatives ahead of a national election expected next year.

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Sydney Okafor

I am so passionate about this my profession as a broadcast journalist and voiceover artists and presently a reporter at TV360 Nigeria

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