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Federal Green Party leader blames failed humour for controversial comments

Last Updated May 10, 2015 at 6:11 pm PDT

(Courtesy Twitter)

During a press dinner, Elizabeth May said "Omar Khadr, you've got more class than the whole F'ing cabinet."

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – A failed attempt at humour.

That’s how the leader of the federal Green Party is explaining controversial comments she made in Ottawa last night.

During the Parliamentary Press Gallery dinner Elizabeth May took to the stage and part of her comments included “Omar Khadr, you’ve got more class than the whole F’ing cabinet.”

May also said “Welcome back, Omar Khadr. It matters to say it. Welcome back, Omar Khadr. You’re home.”

“The Press Gallery dinner, listeners need to know, is not a parliamentary speech. Every leader tries to be funny and edgy. All the reporters try to be funny and edgy. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t,” May explains.

Transportation Minister Lisa Raitt could be seen leading May from the stage.

“She told me it was because I had run out of time. I had a timer in front of me and I thought I was still on time. I apologize for that. I think, really, the lack of sleep. I’ve seen some Twitter comments that I had some wine at dinner. But I hadn’t been drinking heavily or anything like that. I was very tired, I was trying to watch my time and end on time, and I was trying to conclude a funny speech with something else that was more amusing but it obviously more than fell flat. Lisa was making sure that we got the next number up and running. Actually, within five minutes of when you see her walking me off the stage, we got back together and we sang together in the next act. So, Lisa and I had our arms around each other, singing together within about five minutes of the clip everyone has seen.”

During the dinner, May also said “No one has acknowledged we’re on Algonquin land, what the F*** is wrong with you people?”

“Again, an attempt at a joke that because I’m known, and it’s true, I hardly swear. So, the attempt at humour of having me be someone I am not on stage obviously didn’t work. That’s all I can say. I apologize for that.”

May also says she is getting over the flu.