Monday 18 December 2017

Shadow minister 'a pantomime dame'

Shadow minister Chris Bryant was taunted by Iain Duncan Smith
Shadow minister Chris Bryant was taunted by Iain Duncan Smith

Labour's favourite pantomime villain Iain Duncan Smith got his claws out today as he mocked the shadow work and pensions minister for being a "pantomime dame".

Iain Duncan Smith, whose welfare reform plans - in particular the so-called "bedroom tax" - have been accused of reinforcing the image of the Tories as the "nasty party", said during work and pensions questions: "I know Christmas is over, but I think one of the pantomimes left the pantomime dame behind on the front bench."

In December 2010, Chancellor George Osborne was criticised by Labour MPs after likening Mr Bryant to a "pantomime dame", with Mr Bryant himself describing the comments as "homophobic or just nasty".

Mr Osborne made the remark after the then- shadow justice minister said during treasury questions: "The Chancellor of the Exchequer takes a particular delight, it seems, in playing the role of Baron Hardup.

"But can I just say to you in the nicest, Christmassy way possible, that all his austerity talk does provide real anxiety for many of my constituents who worry about their winter fuel allowance, who worry about VAT increasing in January, who worry about major losses in construction jobs in the new year.

"So can I please just encourage you, just sometimes, to play Prince Charming instead?"

Press Association

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