Environment secretary Michael Gove has apologised after making a joke about Harvey Weinstein on the 60th anniversary edition of Radio 4’s Today.
Gove was appearing before a live audience at Wigmore Hall in London with Sarah Montague and John Humphrys.
He said: “Sometimes I think that coming into the studio with you John is like going into Harvey Weinstein’s bedroom.”
This was followed by laughter and applause from the audience.
Gove then added: “You pray that you emerge with your dignity intact…the broader point is yes you can make a fool of yourself.”
Before the programme had finished Gove said on Twitter: “Apologies for my clumsy attempt at humour on R4 Today this morning -it wasn’t appropriate. I’m sorry and apologise unreservedly.”
Weinstein has been accused of multiple instances of rape and sexual assault many of which are alleged to have taken place in hotel rooms.
Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show: “I heard it and I didn’t think it was funny – particularly in Parliament, making sexual harassment a joke is one of the reasons it’s not being dealt with.
“You’ve got to realise that it’s undermining and demeaning for women and undermines and demeans the institution.”