‘La’ t-shirt creator and Labour councillor Philip Normal resigns over offensive unearthed tweets

Philip Normal. Image: GETTY

*warning: contains offensive language that some readers may find triggering*


Fashion designer and Labour councillor Philip Normal faced backlash this week after old tweets resurfaced, dating back to 2011 and 2015.


The historic tweets from the Labour councillor, which included a derogatory word for trans people, racist comments and one where he likened Muslim women to penguin, resurfaced online on January 11.


Normal, who is also known for his slogan t-shirts business, took to Twitter to apologise for the old posts on January 12.


Taking to Twitter again today (January 13), Normal reiterated his apology and announced his resignation as Lambeth Councillor, saying:

“I have today resigned as a Lambeth councillor and a Lambeth Labour candidate for Oval ward. I want to apologise again to everyone who I have caused deep hurt and pain to due to my past social media posts.

“I’m proud to have been a ward councillor for Oval and Mayor of Lambeth and I am sorry that my past actions from before I was elected have undermined the positive work that Lambeth Labour councillors do to advance equality in our diverse communities.”


Normal, who represented the Oval ward on the south London council, made headlines in 2020 as the UK’s “first HIV-positive mayor”. He came to public prominence again last year when his It’s a Sin-themed ‘La’ t-shirts raised a staggering half a million pounds for HIV charity the Terrence Higgins Trust.


In the unsurfaced Tweets, Normal repetitively used a derogatory word for transgender people and, among other comments, likened Muslim women to penguins.


The Tweets. 


In December 2009, Normal tweeted: “And I saw the best bad t****y pushing a wheelchair in a gold pleated skirt blowing a whistle really loud! Ultimate Camden town Experience”.


Then, on 29 September, 2011, he tweeted: “Why do some Muslim women walk like penguins?”


Continuing: “I’m not being mean? Because I know there’s an issue in the healthcare system there…”


Screen grabbed from Twitter


In January 2012, he posted that he was dancing like he was at a “very t****y wedding reception.”


In 2013 Normal tweeted that he used to live in Whitechapel – an “aggressively Muslim” area.


Two years earlier, he posted about how a Black man was on the 55 bus with him was not “sucking” his “d**k”.



In May 2014, he wrote: “You can’t say T****Y on Facebook anymore but you can on twitter. #T****Y”.

T****Y is our word,” Normal added. “We’ve used it in London for years.”


Screen shot from Twitter


Several months later, describing another ride on the 55 bus, he said a “hairy Arab with big hands” was with a “young British blond girl” – calling them a “kinda hot couple.”



On 12 January 2022, one day after the old posts resurfaced, Normal took to Twitter again… this time to apologise.


Norman tweeted that he was “profoundly sorry for the content of some of my historic tweets.”

“Reading them now I am horrified and deeply disappointed in myself. They are clearly offensive and discriminatory. They do not reflect my views and values today. I have referred myself to the Labour Party for investigation.”


It’s a Sin star Olly Alexander called the resurfaced tweets ‘extremely disappointing’ in a retweet of Normal’s apology.