Twitter queen Louise Mensch MP: five memorable moments
Drugs, rows and dressing up - Mensch has had a colourful two years in the House of Commons
LOUISE MENSCH might have been in Parliament for only two years but she has become one of the most high-profile MP to grace the Conservative benches. The former 'chick lit' author (under her maiden name Louise Bagshawe), avid tweeter and outspoken interviewee will step down from her role as MP for Corby and East Northamptonshire and move to New York to spend more time with her family. Here are five moments she’ll be remembered for:
The Piers Morgan catfight
In July 2011, Mensch got herself into an almighty row with Piers Morgan. She claimed during a Commons culture committee hearing, under the cloak of parliamentary privilege, that Morgan had owned up to phone hacking in his autobiography. Morgan denied all and asked her to apologise live on CNN. As he became angrier, Mensch talked over him – mocking "Oh, I'm so scared… terrified" – and concluded that she felt "no need whatsoever to apologise". Days later, she was forced to admit that she was wrong, having misread a newspaper report about him, and apologised for her error.
The Twitter censorship row
During the London riots last August, Mensch called for Twitter and Facebook to be shut down during the disturbances. An avid tweeter herself, Mensch said a blackout would stop false rumours from spreading and help prevent police resources being wasted. She insisted it was the same as authorities interrupting road or rail services briefly during emergencies. But critics compared her suggestion to the sort of online censorship seen in Iran and China, while Sussex police insisted Twitter had been a helpful tool for them to quash rumours.
The drugs, the regrets
Mensch was forced to admit last year that she had "probably" taken drugs while working for the record company EMI in the 1990s. An investigative journalist put the accusations to her in an email and she responded with a public statement, saying: "Since I was in my twenties, I'm sure it was not the only incident of the kind; we all do idiotic things when young." She has since said she "incredibly" regrets taking class A drugs in her youth and claims that they "messed with" her brain.
Dressing up for Mr Mensch
In November 2011, Mensch admitted she liked to 'dress up' for her husband, the Metallica and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers manager Peter Mensch. The Tory MP told The Sunday Times: "I think it's an act of love for a husband and wife who have committed to each other to keep themselves looking as good as they can. I love him and I dress up for him." Many tweeters condemned her for being behind the times and pandering to men. Others sprang to her defence, claiming women's liberation was fought to secure her right to choose what she wants to wear when her husband comes home.
The school run
As the nation tuned in to watch James Murdoch being interrogated by MPs over phone hacking, Mensch had more pressing matters to deal with. When her turn came to question the former News International boss, she explained that she would be leaving the session 45 minutes early in order to pick up her children from school. She even pointed out that they were the "same age" as his children. Murdoch could only respond "Good luck" as the rest of the nation was left asking, surely on this day of all days, she could have asked someone else to pick up the kids. ·