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'La' t-shirt creator and Lambeth Labour councillor Philip Normal quits over offensive tweets

"I want to apologise again to everyone who I have caused deep hurt and pain to due to my past social media posts."

2022-01-13

Words: Alastair James; pictures: Instagram/@philipnormal

The man behind the famous It's A Sin-inspired 'La' t-shirts, Philip Normal, has resigned as a Labour councillor on Lambeth council after historic and offensive tweets resurfaced over recent days.

Normal, the former mayor of Lambeth apologised yesterday (Wednesday 12 January) and announced that he had referred himself to the Labour party for investigation, and was also separately being investigated over the tweets by Lambeth council.

Tweeting today (Thursday 13 January) Normal says he is stepping down as the Labour candidate for the Oval ward.

"I want to apologise again"

He goes on to say: "I want to apologise again to everyone who I have caused deep hurt and pain to due to my past social media posts. 

"I’m proud to have been a ward councillor for Oval and Mayor of Lambeth and I am sorry that my past actions from before I was elected have undermined the positive work that Lambeth Labour councillors do to advance equality in our diverse communities."

One of the tweets which resurfaced earlier this week includes a derogatory word for trans people and reads: "And I saw the best bad t****y pushing a wheelchair in a gold pleated skirt blowing a whistle really loud! Ultimate Camden town Experience."

Another says: "You can’t say T****Y on Facebook anymore but you can on twitter. #T****Y" He also compared Muslim women to penguins and describing Whitechapel as "aggressively Muslim". 

In a five-tweet thread posted yesterday, Normal apologised for his past tweets saying he is "profoundly sorry". 

He goes on to say that he is "horrified and deeply disappointed" in himself now recognising that "They are clearly offensive and discriminatory." He adds, "They do not reflect my views and values today. I have referred myself to the Labour Party for investigation."

He adds that since he was elected to Lambeth Council he had become a "dedicated campaigner for equality and against homophobia, transphobia, sexism, racism, Islamophobia or any other form of discrimination."

Normal, who was the first openly HIV+ mayor, has helped raise £500,000 for the HIV charity, the Terrence Higgins Trust, as a result of selling his 'La' t-shirts, which were inspired by the Aids drama It's a Sin.

In a statement given to the BBC, Lambeth council confirmed it is investigating Normal over the matter.

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