British baroness stands by V-sign in parliament

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An 89-year-old British baroness who became an Internet hit by making a rude two-finger gesture in parliament's illustrious House of Lords said Wednesday she absolutely meant it.

Baroness Jean Trumpington looked gobsmacked and gave colleague Lord Tom King the peculiarly British gesture of contempt when he said how old some of those who served in World War II were now looking.

The incident last month in the historic upper chamber has become a big hit online.

King, 78, a defence and Northern Ireland secretary in the 1980s under prime minister Margaret Thatcher, was speaking during a debate on the World War I armistice.

"To my horror, he suddenly said, more or less, even the people who worked in the last war are starting to look very, very old," Trumpington told BBC television.

"I thought 'oh, to hell with that'!

"It was just meant to be between him and me. I did actually raise two fingers and I tried to pretend that my hand had slipped but it was going to be quite obvious my hand hadn't slipped and I meant it.

"In point of fact, he and I are jolly good friends. I just thought he had gone too far looking at me and saying how old I look."

Trumpington, a former junior minister, worked at Britain's Bletchley Park code-breaking facility from 1941 to 1946, which was instrumental to the war effort. The Enigma code was broken at the country estate.

© 2011 AFP

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