Another senior Labour MP uses colourful language to dismiss Labour policy
Barry Gardiner avoids the sack after suggesting that one of Labour’s key Brexit tests is ‘bollocks’
Angela Rayner recently caused a stir when she described Labour’s economic plans for major increases in state spending as a high-risk “shit-or-bust strategy”. But it turns out that she is not the only shadow cabinet member with a penchant for using colourful language to dismiss a key plank of Labour policy.
Having already got in trouble for describing the Good Friday Agreement as a "shibboleth", Barry Gardiner has now been caught criticising one of his party’s Brexit tests.
Speaking during a question-and-answer session at a thinktank in Brussels last month, he said: “Well let’s just take one test – the exact same benefits. Bollocks. Always has been bollocks and it remains it.
“We know very well that we cannot have the exact same benefits and actually it would have made sense – because it was the Tories that said they were going to secure the exact same benefits – and our position should have been to say they have said they are going to secure the exact same benefits and we are going to hold them to that standard.”
But asked about the row, Jeremy Corbyn said: "Barry Gardiner does not denounce our Brexit policies. We have had a conversation with him. It's quite clear he does support our strategy of holding the Government to account on the tests that have been put forward."
And in a further silver lining for Barry, as one wag pointed out on Twitter, neither his ‘bollocks’ quote or Rayner’s ‘shit or bust’ line is likely to be deployed by vicar's daughter Theresa May at PMQs - because the language is unparliamentary.