Emily Thornberry appeared on BBC Politics Live where the panel discussed the controversy surrounding Love Island star Molly-Mae Hague and the backlash against her comments on “hard work”. Molly-Mae was accused of being “tone deaf” after she said everyone had the same 24-hours in the day and implied people who were not successful simply did not work hard enough. Ms Thornberry said Molly-Mae should not use her own experiences to describe everyone else before hoping she would “grow up” and learn life was “harder” than she thought.
Speaking on BBC Politics Live, Ms Thornbery was asked about Molly-Mae’s comments and believed she should not use her own experiences in life to describe everyone’s situation.
She told the programme: “I think she should be applauded for her success.
“And she’s a young woman and things have kind of gone pretty well for her and I don’t think that she’s had any particular difficulties.
“I don’t think she should read across from her own experience of life to the experience of others.
“I presume that when she gets older, if God forbid, you know, she did become ill or she got a disability or she had children or things did not go as well.
“Then perhaps she would understand that some people really struggle and that for some people 24 hours is 24 hours of struggle.
“And that they don’t achieve as much as others because some people have a leg up.”
Ms Thornberry then addressed the comparisons made between Molly-Mae and Margaret Thatcher by saying there was “no excuse” for the coal mines to be closed.
The Labour frontbencher also dismissed the idea that everyone was born equal and if you did not do well in life it was down to your individual decisions.
“When I’ve spoken about that in the past, I have been slammed a little bit, with people saying, it’s easy for you to say that you’ve not grown up in poverty, you’ve not grown up with major money struggle, so for you to sit there and say that we all have the same 24 hours in a day, it’s not correct.
“We do – so I understand that we all have different backgrounds and we’re all raised in different ways and we do have different financial situations, but I do think if you want something enough, you can achieve it.”
The star saw a backlash to her comments which many say ignored the plight of those in poverty for reasons out of their control.
The star broke her silence on the controversy this week and wrote: “When I say or post anything online, it is never with malice or ill intent.
“I completely appreciate that things can affect different people in different ways however I just want to stress that I would never intend to hurt or upset anyone by anything that I say or do.
“I apologise to the people that have been affected negatively or misunderstood the meaning of what I said in the podcast, the intentions of the podcast were only ever to tell my story and inspire from my own experience.”