MPs go wild for England's World Cup win and back Jordan Pickford for PM
Watch: Tory MPs Alec Shelbrooke and Mark Spencer celebrated with gusto after the final penalty.
MPs have lined up to praise England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford and shared their experiences of watching the World Cup win over Colombia.
When the Everton and former Sunderland keeper stepped up for the penalty shoot-out, Labour frontbencher Jonathan Reynolds wrote on Twitter: “I really hope the country is about to fall in love with Jordan Pickford just like all # safc fans.”
After Pickford saved Colombia’s fifth penalty to send England through to the quarter finals, two MPs then upped the ante with former Labour cabinet minister Liam Byrne demanding to see “Sir Jordan Pickford” and ex-Tory culture minister Ed Vaizey backing a more radical suggestion: “Pickford for prime minister (new party).”
Many Labour MPs were watching the game in parliament’s Stranger’s Bar with veteran Labour MP Mike Gapes playing chief commentator for the crowd. “He is the David Coleman of the Strangers Bar,” one MP told POLITICO.
Tory MP Helen Grant was also said to have turned up in Stranger's at one point and caused "a mild kerfuffle over a prize spot near the telly".
Meanwhile a number of Tory MPs gathered in another room to cheer England on. A film of their shenanigans after the final penalty posted by Nigel Huddleston showed Theresa May’s former policy chief George Freeman standing on a chair to celebrate while colleagues Alec Shelbrooke and Mark Spencer hugged it out.
But not all MPs were quite so focused on the big game. The SNP came under fire for forcing five votes on motions linked to public spending during the clash with Colombia.
“Missed quite a fair bit of the #ENGCOL game tonight as I was doing my job as an MP, you know like actually voting and stuff,” SNP MP David Linden tweeted righteously. “Looking forward to watching the highlights later on, though. Many congrats to England on making the quarter finals!”
In the end the government won all five votes, with the number of MPs voting in favour falling steadily from 312 to 175 as the England game progressed.
Meanwhile former Lib Dem leader Tim Farron wimped out of watching the penalty shoot-out at all - and chose 80s dance-rock/synth-pop instead.
He confessed: "I seriously couldn't bear to watch another England shoot-out. I went outside, put my headphones in and listened to New Order until it was all over. 28 years of World Cup penalties hurt - they think it's all over? It is now…"