Crawley MP compares IMF chief to fictional alien ET

Crawley MP Henry Smith pictured last year
Crawley MP Henry Smith pictured last year

Crawley’s MP has compared the head of the International Monetary Fund to fictional film character ET on Twitter.

Christine Lagarde, managing director of the IMF since 2011, is set to meet the eurozone’s finance ministers today to talk about the implications of the UK leaving the EU.

Crawley MP Henry Smith tweeted a picture of ET next to Ms Lagarde, along with the caption: ‘EU funded IMF chief and ET - both other worldly’.

He defended the tweet, saying was only ‘a bit of gentle ribbing as appears in the media all the time especially on Twitter’.

He explained that his criticism of Lagarde stemmed from the fact that the IMF was supporting the remain campaign in the lead up to the referendum, and was ‘biased’ because it was partly funded by the EU, while the ‘credibility of the organisation was questionable’.

Mr Smith, who is one of the MPs backing the Vote Leave campaign in the run up to next Thursday’s EU referendum, said: “If you look at Private Eye they have a look-alike, I think it was a bit of gentle ribbing as appears in the media all the time, especially on Twitter.”

Restating his position on the EU last month, he said: “My position is clear – I will be voting for the UK to Leave the EU.

“When listening to members of the Government explain how they are caught up in the realities of EU membership, I’ve only become more convinced at the lack of democratic accountability in the organisation.

“For the elected Government of the day – regardless of which party is in office – to be unable to use the courage of its convictions to enact reforms because such measures may be ‘against EU rules’ just seems wrong.

“Successful countries such as Switzerland, which trade with Europe while not being hamstrung by the European Union, are just one example. It has, for example, enjoyed the flexibility to complete a trade deal with China, something the British can’t do on their own whilst members of the EU and a trade deal that Brussels has failed to achieve.

“Let’s Leave an economically struggling, increasingly undemocratic political bloc, and allow us, as the world’s fifth largest economy, to look out at the rest of the world.

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