Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has rallied behind his domestic violence spokeswoman, Sarah Champion, after she admitted being arrested and cautioned by police for beating her husband with a framed painting.
Mrs. Champion (pictured right), the feminist MP for Rotherham and “Shadow Home Office Minister for Preventing Abuse and Domestic Violence” confessed on Friday to the incident, which happened when she was divorcing from husband Graham Hoyland in 2007.
On Sunday, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn urged her to continue in her job, telling his party’s women’s conference in Liverpool: “As so often happens in domestic abuse it is when a woman is pushed to breaking point and finally fights back that the police are called.”
He attacked “misogyny” in the press because her confession had been reported, adding: “It’s time for the media to start championing those who of are supporting women and fighting abuse, not vilifying them.”
That's amazing, thank you. I won't be re-victimised! https://t.co/HfXxgTpoiQ
— Sarah Champion MP (@SarahChampionMP) September 24, 2016
On Friday, Mrs. Champion, 46, told the Daily Mirror. “I’m not proud of what happened and I accept I was in the wrong, but I have nothing to hide. I lost control after being provoked for years and for that I am sorry, but I felt extremely vulnerable at that moment.
“Things were extremely hostile between Graham and I and months of tension spilled over… I feel I’ve let down the people I’ve tried to help most, but it wasn’t some dark, horrid secret I was hiding, it was just a part of my life I tried to forget.”
Mrs. Champion said her and her husband, a best-selling author and mountaineer, had been rowing over the sale of their half a million pound country house, adding:
“We got into a heated argument and he said, ‘If you want to leave you’ll have to leave with nothing.’ I told him if he was going to be unreasonable, then I would be too and grabbed a watercolour off the wall.”
However, friends of Mr. Hoyland told the Mail on Sunday that Mrs. Champion had attacked him before and misrepresented the incident in her comments to the press.
“The argument that saw Graham call the police was over a prenuptial agreement,” the source said.
“They both received cautions, which was something Derbyshire Police did at the time, but there was no doubt that Graham had called 999 and was the victim.”
— Sarah Champion MP (@SarahChampionMP) May 12, 2016