Owen Smith, a challenger for Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party, found himself in the midst of a media storm by talking about his family life on live television.
The MP for Pontypridd and Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions was responding to a question about whether he sees himself as ‘normal’.
When interviewed on Sky News, Smith said: “I’m glad you think I’m normal. I am normal. I grew up in a normal household. I’ve got a wife and three children. My wife is a primary school teacher.
“I’ve been in Parliament for six years, before that I had two or three other jobs, in business, in politics and advising the peace process in Northern Ireland.”
During the Conservative leadership contest, Andrea Leadsom was heavily criticised for comparing herself favourably with Theresa May because she has children and the Prime Minister is childless.
Openly gay MP Angela Eagle is the other challenger. She and partner Maria Exall have no children.
The Evening Standard reports that an adviser for Mr Smith asserts he was not intending to compare himself to Ms Eagle or Mr Corbyn with the thoughtless remark.
The statement insists that: “He was just trying to say that he is an ordinary person, proud to live and represent his own community in Parliament.”
Smith’s gaffe betrays a worrying lack of sensitivity and media experience for someone striving to be one of the most senior politicians in the country.