Hugh Grand has stepped in to defend himself after Sajid David called him ‘rude’ for refusing to shake his hand recently.
The politician, 49, said Hugh, 59, had been ‘incredibly rude’ at a glitzy event for Martin Scorsese’s new film The Irishman, claiming the actor was part of the ‘elite’ who look down on others.
Speaking to ES Magazine this week, the Chancellor of the Exchequer said of the actor: ‘I recognised him and put my hand out and said, “Lovely to meet you”, and you know what he does? He refuses to shake my hand.
‘He says, “I am not shaking your hand.” I am completely shocked. He said, “When you were culture secretary, you didn’t support my friends in [anti-media intrusion campaign] Hacked Off.”
‘I think that is incredibly rude. I wonder if people like Hugh Grant think they are part of the elite and they look down on working class people no matter what station they reach in life.’
However reps for Hugh have sought to set the record straight as they sought to clarify the circumstances around Hugh’s interaction with the chancellor.
Taking to his Twitter account today, Hugh shared a statement from his team.
Speaking to the Press Association, a spokesperson clarified that when offered a handshake, ‘Grant’s words were: “If you don’t mind, I won’t shake your hand because you were rude and dismissive to the victims of press abuse when you met them as culture secretary.”’
In referring to victims of phone-hacking, the statement continued: ‘Hugh would like to point out that the victims in question were not celebrities. They were people with personal family tragedies who had been abused by sections of the press.’
The spokesperson further added that Hugh was referring to a meeting with the former culture secretary and ‘the victims of press abuse… (who) reported back that his attitude in the meeting was “borderline contemptuous”.’
The Love Actually star has always been a vocal campaigner and supporter of Hacked Off, which goes against press intrusion following the discovery of widespread phone hacking by British tabloids.
It comes after Hugh called Boris Johnson an ‘over-promoted bath toy’ in his response to the PM suspending parliament.
Hugh left everyone with some pretty vivid imagery in their heads in August, when he wrote on Twitter: ‘You will not f*** with my children’s future. You will not destroy the freedoms my grandfather fought two world wars to defend.
‘F*** off you over-promoted rubber bath toy. Britain is revolted by you and you [sic] little gang of masturbatory prefects.’