Alexander was given sexist mauling by the media, claims brother
WENDY Alexander suffered "outrageous" treatment at the hands of the media during her term as a Holyrood minister, her brother said yesterday.
Cabinet Office minister Douglas Alexander claimed she was a victim of sexism and that the power she held as a minister was resented.
Rising star Alexander was enterprise minister in the first Holyrood administration, and was also prominent in the successful but fiercely controversial battle to repeal legislation barring the promotion of homosexuality.
In a radio programme to be broadcast today, her brother told BBC Scotland’s Edi Stark: "I think the way elements of the Scottish press treated her was outrageous.
"It reflected the fact that she was not just a brave politician, doing what I think was an important thing for Scotland, but the fact that she was a younger, attractive woman."
She was also "deeply resented" for the powerful position she held, and for her "bravery", he claimed.
And while there was also sexism in Westminster, there was an added edge to it in Scotland through the novelty of the devolved parliament.
In the interview for the Stark Talk programme, Alexander, 36, a key figure in Labour’s general election strategy, dismissed quips that he and his sister - young, enthusiastic and Christian - were the Scottish political equivalent of Donny and Marie Osmond. "I suppose we should be grateful not to be the Krankies," he said.
He denied there was sibling rivalry between himself and his sister - he is MP for Paisley South, she is MSP for Paisley North. And he dismissed suggestions that he might eventually move to Holyrood, or she might move to Westminster.
"I think it’s more difficult than people envisaged at the time of the devolution settlement for politicians to transfer between them [Westminster and Holyrood]," Alexander said. He is a former researcher for Chancellor Gordon Brown and is viewed as a prominent ‘Brownie’. But he told the programme: "Gordon is a great personal friend, he is a politician I admire immensely. I don’t hide that. That doesn’t mean I don’t recognise what Tony Blair has done for the country, and is doing for the Labour party and everything else."
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