Countdown icon Carol Vorderman has hit out at Siobhan Baillie following accusations the Stroud Conservative MP wrongly took credit for creating a new GCSE course.
Posting on Twitter, the TV star said: “Remember Tory MP Siobhan Baillie, who falsely accused me of being an “education snob” in parliament? Oh the irony, she’s had to apologise for wrongly taking credit for creating the Natural History GCSE.
“Caroline Lucas, the Green MP who led the campaign for the new GCSE in Parliament, said there was a “very strong” case for Ms Baillie to correct the record in the House. She said the Tory MP’s apology was “mealy-mouthed” and called on her to remove the video containing the “gobsmacking” claim that she created the course from her website.
“Constituents ought to be able to expect honesty from their MPs and you can’t go around making stuff up, essentially, which is what this looks like,” she told The Telegraph.
On Ms Baillie’s claims in Parliament, she said: “I think it’s insidious. Once people think they can get away with making claims in the Commons that are wrong – either to do it knowingly or mistakenly – I think there is a very strong argument that the record should be corrected. and huge applause for the woman who fought for the new GCSE all the way – Mary Colwell.”
Ms Baillie told Gloucestershire Live that she was sorry if she gave the impression she wished to take “sole credit” for creating the new GCSE.
The MP said she had campaigned to establish the course with the Conservative Environment Network, insisting that “many people were involved”.
She said: “The creation of a Natural History GCSE in the future is a great achievement. I talk about it with schools all over the Stroud district as it is popular with young people.
“It was an honour to be invited by the Education Secretary to the GCSE’s launch at the Natural History Museum in recognition of my work with the Conservative Environment Network on the campaign. Many people were involved, as I said in my local press at the time.
“I have seen the hate being whipped up about me online due to one line in a leaflet. It was never my intention to claim sole credit for creating a GCSE, nor to detract from other super campaigners’ efforts. I apologise if anybody thought that was not the case. We all know that it takes loads of people and many years of work to get anything done in Westminster.
“Work behind the scenes in Parliament, in addition to public efforts and experts pushing issues is how we have achieved change on several subjects like childcare and online abuse. I think it is good to have lots of champions and to me, the most important thing is that something happens.”