Tristram Hunt, the shadow education secretary, is in hot water on Twitter after an exchange with journalist Cristina Odone on the BBC's Question Time sparked #nungate.
Discussing Labour's insistence that teachers have qualified teacher status, Ms Odone said that "some of the most inspiring teachers I've ever encountered were not out of teacher training colleges". Dr Hunt replied that "these were all nuns" and, rather than a defence of teachers' professionalism, this was rapidly interpreted as an attack on religious educators.
Daily Telegraph blogger timothy_stanley immediately swung into action, tweeting: "Hunt pours scorn on Catholic schools. Given how often they outperform his precious secular schools that's shameful."
@ctrlamb of The Tablet also revealed that "numerous", previously Labour-supporting nuns had been in touch to say how upset they were.
Not everyone agreed, though. "I've watched the #Nungate clip a couple of times now and have yet to identify the `slur' against nuns," said @primlystable.
Even so, @TristramHuntMP was forced to take to Twitter to defend his views. "On BBC QT I was trying to make a generalised point about the use of unqualified teachers in schools," he said. "I obviously meant no offence to nuns."
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