A Labour MP has been left embarrassed after her assistant accidentally issued an email making fun of parents’ concerns about a controversial sex education film.
Chris and Pauline Power began campaigning against the “cartoon porn” video, entitled Living and Growing, after seeing a preview of it at their son’s junior school.
The video, which is produced by Channel 4, shows a cartoon couple chasing each other around a bed before having sex in various positions.
However, when Mr Power contacted his local MP Alison McGovern about the video he didn’t expect his concerns to be belittled.
After four weeks of silence Mr Power received an accidental email from one of Miss McGovern’s staff.
The email, sent by a Labour Party worker known as Jay, said: “Alison, think we need to get a response out to this gentleman. Know it’s an awfully uncomfortable discussion to have, but think we need to get a position (stop giggling at the back) sooner than later.”
Mr Power has expressed dismay over the juvenile response.
He said: “We have tried our best to protest against the important issue of sex education in schools and have contacted Ms McGovern on many occasions over the last four weeks.
“I hadn’t received anything back until today and even then it was an email I wasn’t supposed to see.
“There is a time and a place for joking around, but this is a serious issue and what message does it send out when those who are supposed to represent us have such a disregard for the opinions of electors.
“It is a sad comment on our society that this is how an MP treats her constituents.”
Miss McGovern, who described the email as “puerile”, indicated that the staff member may be disciplined.
She said: “Although it was clearly sent by mistake, I will be looking at the situation and speaking with him personally.
“I have tried to get in touch with Mr Power to send my personal apologies.”
The staff member has also offered his apologies.
Earlier this year angry mums blasted a primary school’s plan to show pupils the Living and Growing video.
Cliff Lane Primary School in Suffolk was planning to show the video to seven-year-old pupils, but outraged mums were left horrified after they saw the graphic DVD during a consultation.
Kara Munday, whose five-year-old daughter attends the school, said: “We are genuinely concerned that sexual activity would take place because they would be aware of what these parts do and how to make it feel nice”.
She added: “Their innocence will be taken away at an early age.”
Her concerns were echoed by Emma O’Brien, whose seven-year-old son attends the school, who said: “There are some body parts kids don’t need to know yet. They shouldn’t be taught that.”