Tommie Gorman describes treatment of Theresa May as “tacky” and “vulgar”
“You couldn’t but feel sympathy for her as she comes to this stage.”
Well-known and respected broadcaster Tommie Gorman has hit out at the treatment of outgoing UK Prime Minister Theresa May by her political contemporaries as “tacky”, “vulgar” and “unnecessary”.
In an emotional press conference on Friday, May announced that she would be stepping down as leader of the Conservative Party and as Prime Minister on 7 June, having been under scrutiny from all quarters for her attempts to navigate Britain’s exit from the European Union.
While May’s decision-making has been subjected to fierce criticism throughout the Brexit negotiations, in the UK and beyond, RTÉ Northern Editor Tommie Gorman feels that some of the treatment of May, particularly amongst her contemporaries in UK politics and even some of her former colleagues, has been over the top.
Speaking to Dion Fanning for the latest episode of Ireland Unfiltered, before May's resignation was confirmed – the episode in full will be available on Tuesday – Gorman acknowledged that May has “screwed up”, but said that he can’t help but feel sympathy for her given some of the brutal treatment she’s been subjected to during the course of the Brexit negotiations.
“I’ve been watching say, in recent days, and I think it’s probably because of our size – it’s an Irish thing as opposed to a British thing – but I don’t think many of us are taking the same level of personal delight in her misfortune [as in the United Kingdom],” Gorman said.
“I think because of our society being more interconnected, I think, even though she screwed up and even though she was obstinate and terrible and, you know, did some wheeling and double dealing actually, you couldn’t but feel sympathy for her as she comes to this stage.
“Whereas I’m just contrasting that, the numbers of them who are out in the public arena – colleagues of hers, former colleagues of her and observers – and they’re laughing about her having the sofa up against the door and so on and I just find that kind of harsh and unnecessary and I just think there’s something tacky about it, there’s something vulgar about it.”
Having observed her in the flesh on a number of occasions, Gorman expressed doubts about May’s levels of empathy and emotional intelligence and he feels that it will take her a long time to recover from what she’s been through in recent months.
“I saw her close up a few times and I don’t think she has huge empathy; I don’t know if she has great emotional or political intelligence,” Gorman added.
“But I don’t think that she set out, intentionally, to cause this level of chaos and I think she’ll be badly broken by it, personally. I’d say it will take her a long time to recover.”