Arsenal-mad MPs show their love for Arsene Wenger in the Commons

Written by David Singleton on 16 May 2018 in Diary
Diary

They were less complimentary about fellow Gunners fan Piers Morgan.

Arsenal-supporting MPs including Jeremy Corbyn used a parliamentary debate to heap praise on Arsène Wenger - and to take aim at Piers Morgan.

The Labour leader made the surprise move of turning up to an adjournment debate on Tuesday night in the House of Commons to express his admiration for the outgoing Arsenal manager.

"As the MP who represents the Arsenal stadium—the old and the new—I have been through the pain and the pleasure of the building of the new stadium. Throughout the whole time that Arsène Wenger has been manager, he has ensured that Arsenal has made an enormous contribution to the local community,” he said.

“Arsenal in the Community has been very successful for local grounds and clubs all over the borough. I have never forgotten taking a large group of primary school children to the Arsenal stadium one evening, where Arsène Wenger gave them a very interesting talk about how he had learned English. He told them that they should all learn foreign languages in order to create a more generous and peaceful world. He has a wonderful ability to communicate with people of all ages and all footballing abilities.”

Conservative MP Huw Merriman applauded Wenger's "vast input in making the game the financial export that it is for this country" and "his his ability to be the best of talent from abroad". He also commended Wenger for helping to change culture and behaviour in football. To make his point he quoted ex-Arsenal Ray Parlour’s recollection of the first pre-season tour with Wenger:

“New French lads had come into the team. We worked our socks off and at the end of the trip Wenger said we could all go out. We went straight down to the pub and the French lads went to the coffee shop. I’ll always remember the moment Steve Bould went up to the bar and ordered 35 pints for five of us…

“We spotted all the French lads in the coffee shop and they were sitting around smoking, I thought how are we going to win the league this year? We’re all drunk and they’re all smoking, and we ended up winning the double that year.”

Merriman then quoted another Arsenal legend, Lee Dixon, before moving on to famous Arsenal fans: "There are 100 million of us across the globe. Some have great notoriety: the Trump family, Osama bin Laden and - it gets even worse for the Arsenal PR team —Piers Morgan.”

At which point a third diehard Arsenal fan got involved. Speaker John Bercow piped up: “Order. The hon. Gentleman did not quite say this, but I think what he was driving at is that there is sometimes a tendency for people on social media to volunteer their opinions with an insistence in inverse proportion to their knowledge of the subject matter under discussion.”

The Tory MP replied: "Mr Speaker, you are absolutely spot on. I can think only of the words Piers and Morgan when you conjure up those sentiments."

 

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