Austin Mitchell
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Austin Mitchell: Rape tweet row 'storm in a teacup'

14 May 2014 Last updated at 18:56 BST

A Labour MP who appeared to compare Pfizer's proposed takeover of AstraZeneca to rape on Twitter has described the subsequent row as a "storm in a teacup".

Austin Mitchell tweeted the message: "Cameron dare not stop Pfizer because he dare not offend the US in any way. Roll up rapists." Critics say the comments trivialise sex attacks.

Mr Mitchell told BBC News that the word "rape" was used in other contexts, such as to describe damage to the countryside, and that the row was "too trivial to apologise for."