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Mike Gapes MP accused of ‘Putin apologism’ after Prince Charles snipe

12:27 22 May 2014

Mike Gapes MP

Mike Gapes MP

Ilford South MP Mike Gapes yesterday faced accusations he was a “Putin apologist” after criticising Prince Charles for comments comparing the Russian president to Hitler.

The Labour politician, a former Foreign Affairs Select Committee chair, suggested the Prince of Wales take a lesson in discretion from his mother after a former Polish war refugee claimed the prince said Vladimir Putin’s actions in Ukraine were “not unlike” Hitler’s takeover of countries in the build-up to the Second World War.

“My position is that our Queen has been fantastic because she is seen and not heard,” he said.

“She never makes any controversial comments and that’s why she’s been so popular. [Prince Charles] could do with taking a lesson from his mother.”

Marienne Ferguson, who works at the Nova Scotia immigration museum in Canada, said the prince made the comments in a conversation during an event there.

Some have defended the prince’s comments as being made during a private conversation.

But Mr Gapes said: “It was a reception and a reception with lots of journalists and media there.

“When other people go to events like that they do not make indiscreet remarks.”

He referred those accusing him of “Putin apologism” to comments about the controversial president he has made on record in the House of Commons.

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