The National:

BARELY pausing for breath, controversial broadcaster Julia Hartley-Brewer has defended herself against accusations she sided with rape and human trafficking accused Andrew Tate in a Twitter beef with Greta Thunberg.

Hartley-Brewer wants you to know that in no way did she “side” with Tate – who rang in the new year from a Romanian jail charged with a string of offences – despite backing the influencer after he hit out at Thunberg on social media.

In the kind of anaerobic performance rarely seen outside of a 100m Olympic sprint, she told the handful of viewers who actually tune in to TalkTV that she was not a fan of Tate’s.

Watch the full thing 

It comes after she backed him in a spat with the 19-year-old climate activist before the new year, saying she would take Tate’s lifestyle (pre-arrest, presumably) over that of a “half-educated, autistic, doom-mongering eco-cultist”.

READ MORE: Greta Thunberg's perfect tweet KOs Andrew Tate after arrest in Romania

She deleted the tweet after others took her use of the word “autistic” as an insult, because it was included in a list of other insults.

Hartley-Brewer then reposted her witless response to Thunberg – which remains live on her account, incredibly – without the word autism in the list of attributes.

On her TalkTV show on Tuesday Hartley-Brewer discussed the main topics of the day, such as a week-old tweet she had made about a rape-accused influencer.

Her rant in full

She said: “Lots of tweets saying I should be sacked but what I loved was people saying, ‘You’re taking the side of your hero Andrew Tate.’

“Um, A) a man I don’t think I’ve ever tweeted about, ever spoken about on air. Of course, I’ve heard of him, I didn’t know the full horrors of the things he was … because I don’t take any interest … he’s just a sort of malign sort of influencer figure, I don’t have any interest in Kim Kardashian, either and he’s a nasty piece of work.

“Do I think that women should go anywhere near him? No, I think he’s horrible – I don’t have any interest in him, though.

“But I thought Greta’s response to him was really tacky and I thought rather beneath her.

“And again, what’s funny is that, [indecipherable] ‘why did you, why did you say autistic?’

“I said, ‘well actually I deleted that because I realised it was being taken … and I genuinely did not mean … I don’t think saying someone’s autistic, if you’re genuinely autistic, if you’re saying someone who’s not autistic is autistic and using it as an insult then that is, that is being derogatory and [indecipherable] offensive.

“She is autistic, she’s proudly autistic, she’s talked about it being her gift and being indeed her superpower and indeed it was her mental health problems as well as being autistic as she was later diagnosed, which her parents sort of felt her eco-fanaticism and these school strikes and the like, was her route out of, you know she had these sort of, she had an eating disorder, she was a selective mute.

READ MORE: Edinburgh mosque evacuated as bomb disposal unit attend 'suspicious bags'

"She had many, many, many issues I mean really, really, very troubled little girl as she was then. She’s now a young woman at the age of 19 and so she uses the word autistic as the first describer of herself in her [Twitter] biog, proudly.

“So I, I genuinely … I mean genuinely, you’ve met me, if I had a history of using this as an insult … It would be all over Twitter, I’d have done it a million times. I don’t because I don’t do things like that.

“But I realised it was, ‘ah look, it’s been taken the wrong way, I can see how it has been, so I deleted it.

“But then you have people saying ‘why did you delete it’ even though I’d flagged up that I’d deleted this tweet I wasn’t trying to hide it. But if I hadn’t deleted it, people would’ve said should delete it. You’re in this no-win situation aren’t you?”

It appeared she was supposed to be interviewing Spiked Online editor Tom Slater, if she’d given him a word in edgeways to talk about literally anything other than her own Twitter gaffe.