To the surprise of nobody, journalist Andrew Neil doesn’t seem to know how pronouns work

Josh Milton
·3-min read

Andrew Neil, the old guard journalist and former BBC interviewer, apparently has no clue how pronouns work.

Neil was trading barbs on Twitter with left-wing activist George Aylett Tuesday evening (17 November) over the reinstatement of former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to the party, when he attempted to dunk on him by mocking his pronouns.

“Whatever you say, he/him,” he wrote.

Neil, who, we guess, must not not have pronouns, was attacking Aylett for listing his in his Twitter bio – a simple gesture done in solidarity with the trans community – and his tweet was met with tired frustration.

Aylett hit back at Neil as well as a volley of troll accounts, stressing that having pronouns in your bio really is not a big deal and pointing it out is not the witty takedown Neil apparently thought it was.

Neil quit the BBC this year to become chair of the soon-to-launch Fox News-style broadcaster GB News.

He remains chair of The Spectator, which has been widely criticised for running anti-trans content. Recently he feuded with Co-op after the supermarket pulled future advertising over the issue. The chain later U-turned.

Misgendering a trans person by using the wrong pronouns can cause increased dysphoria and mental health problems.

It has been proven that consistently using the correct name and pronouns for trans people can reduce their rates of anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts to almost the same levels as their cisgender counterparts.

What prompted Andrew Neil to mock George Aylett’s pronouns?

The saga began when Andrew Neil took aim at Labour’s governing body, the National Executive Committee (NEC), over its move to readmit Corbyn after he suggested that problems with the party’s handling of antisemitism allegations had been “overstated.”

Neil, 71, sought to contrast the readmission with the comings and goings at Downing Streets where fierce infighting has prompted two of Tory prime minister Boris Johnson’s most powerful advisers to quit.

Jeremy Corbyn. (Christopher Furlong/Getty)
Jeremy Corbyn. (Christopher Furlong/Getty)

After a wave of criticism over the role hard-line Brexit aides play in government, Johnson’s communications adviser Lee Cain resigned – with top aide Dominic Cummings departing days after.

“As Tories bash each other about over complaints that Boris Johnson can’t even run 10 Downing Street, never mind the country, what a good idea of the Labour NEC to reinstate Jeremy Corbyn as a Labour MP,” Neil tweeted.

“What are you talking about?” Aylett questioned.

“Labour have ended a potential civil war whilst the Conservative one is just starting.”

While an NEC disciplinary panel had decided to readmit Corbyn, the power to allow him back to the party benches in parliament belongs to leader Keir Starmer.

It was a move he ultimately refused, with Starmer saying Wednesday (18 November) that he will not be restoring the whip to Corbyn.