Newport MP Paul Flynn, slams ‘boring, coarse’ speech by ex-England cricketer Graham Gooch
10:31am Wednesday 18th September 2013 in News
ATTACK: Newport MP Paul Flynn slammed what he called a ‘boring, coarse’ speech given by ex-England cricketer Graham Gooch at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport
IT’S safe to say that Newport West MP Paul Flynn isn’t necessarily a fan of former England cricketer Graham Gooch.
To use a cricket analogy, the long-serving Parliamentarian steamed in with a fiery line of questioning akin to the legendary West Indies fast-bowling attack of the 70s and 80s when he grilled the England batting coach at a business breakfast in Newport yesterday.
Mr Gooch was the guest speaker at the latest breakfast meeting of the M4 Business Network at the city’s Celtic Manor Resort, where he gave a speech followed by a question-and-answer session.
Mr Flynn said: “Of hundreds of after-dinner speeches, Gooch’s was the worst – boring, xenophobic, coarse and unintelligble to all except cricket buffs.”
Mr Flynn questioned Mr Gooch about where he was after he made a reference to Cardiff City. But M4 Business Network chairman Steve Sulley said he was “baffled” by the MP’s questioning.
On his blog later Mr Flynn expressed his disappointment that Mr Gooch had been invited.
Mr Gooch captained a rebel England tour of Apartheid-era South Africa, playing an unofficial Test series in 1982. The tour led to three-year bans for Mr Gooch and the other rebels.
Mr Flynn said: “Newport and South Wales has a proud record of opposing Apartheid. Who thought of booking Gooch?”
Mr Sulley responded: “When it comes to the suitability of Graham Gooch, I can understand that he is loved by some for his cricket prowess, and loathed by others for his decision to play cricket in South Africa when he did. That’s exactly why we chose him, to prompt that debate.
“I respect Paul Flynn’s views but I’m baffled as to why he chose only to ask an ill-timed and slightly bizarre question about local geography to Mr Gooch. Surely with Graham stood in front of him, it was the ideal time to challenge him on the political issue?
“I think it was clear to all, that one person came off better than the other from the exchange.”
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