The millionaire boss of a plumbing company caused red-faces all round when he called Jeremy Corbyn a “tw*t” live on radio.
Remain supporter Charlie Mullins, the boss of Pimlico Plumbers, appeared on BBC Radio 4’s World At One to talk about employment laws.
When the subject moved on to Brexit, Mr Mullins was asked about whether the UK should stay in the single market – something opposed by the Labour leader.
Mr Mullins replied: “Of course we should be staying in it. Jeremy Corbyn’s is a tw*t, isn’t he.”
Presenter Martha Kearney quickly cut off the conversation, telling listeners: “Well we’ll definitely leave it there.
“Apologies to Jeremy Corbyn for the language used.”
Mr Mullins later took to Twitter to apologise for his choice of word – although not for what he meant.
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Brexit is a subject I’m very passionate about and I apologise for the word I used on @BBCWorldatOne, but not the sentiment behind it.
— Charlie Mullins OBE (@PimlicoPlumbers) July 26, 2017
He wrote: “Brexit is a subject I’m very passionate about and I apologise for the word I used on @BBCWorldatOne, but not the sentiment behind it.”
Speaking to Yahoo News UK, Mr Mullins said he regretted his choice of words on the radio, but believes Mr Corbyn is “destroying the country”.
He said: “At the end of the day maybe it wasn’t the right place to say it.
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“Over half the country thinks he’s a waste of time. He’s a liar, what with this thing about the student debt.
“Maybe it was a slip of the tongue but what I really think about the guy I wouldn’t say on the radio. The man’s destroying the country.
“As much as I say it was the wrong place. Wrong place right words.”
He went on: “He’s telling lies, he’s destroying the country. He’s another Nigel Farage. I wouldn’t put him in charge of a broom at Pimlico Plumbers.
“I’ve heard Jeremy Corbyn called a lot worse things. Someone told me it was not the best place to say it but I would rather say it to his face.
“The man is a waste of time.”
Mr Mullins, 64, is a Tory donor and a passionate Remainer who left school at 15 before building up a £70 million fortune with his plumbing business.
He was one of the key backers of the legal challenge to Brexit and appeared at the Royal Courts of Justice to appeal against the triggering of Article 50.
The outspoken Rod Stewart fan – who counts former Prime Minister David Cameron as one of his clients – described Brexit supporters as “busybodies”.
He hit the headlines away from Brexit in February this year when the Court of Appeal rejected his appeal over the employment status of former worker Gary Smith.
Mr Smith, who worked for Pimlico Plumbers for six years until 2011, had challenged the company’s view that he was self-employed.
A tribunal agreed with Mr Smith that he was entitled to basic workers’ rights – even though he was self-employed – after he was dismissed following a heart attack.
The firm had argued that Mr Smith was an “independent contractor” rather than a worker or employee.
Mr Mullins said after the ruling that Mr Smith was “trying to have his cake and eat it”, but added: “Gary was a great engineer and quite a nice fellow. I wish him well.”