It’s Chris Williamson vs Piers Morgan as Westminster descends into major Greggs bust-up
Yep, you read that headline right.
Welcome to 2019, where Westminster's finest hacks and politicos are managing to set the tone for a momentous year in Britain's post-war history by, err, getting into a Twitter fight about pastry products.
Bakery chain Greggs - who made waves in SW1 when they launched a branch in Westminster tube station last year - announced this week it was offering up a vegan alternative to its popular sausage roll.
The Quorn-based version of the lunchtime hit is reportedly selling out across the UK. But it’s sparked a furious reaction from traditionalists, led by veteran hack and Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan, who has said he won’t be going Vegan this January because he’d rather impale himself “on a rusty spear dosed with sulphuric acid”.
As well as blasting Greggs as “PC-ravaged clowns”, the former Mirror editor decided to crown himself the head of the “vegan resistance” by getting a "real" sausage roll in on room service.
Just ordered a large sausage roll on room service.— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) January 2, 2019
A meat one.
The vegan resistance starts here.
The furious row over rolls soon spilled over into the political arena - with Labour left-winger and vegan extraordinaire Chris Williamson soon taking Morgan to task.
You will lose Piers.— Chris Williamson MP #GTTO (@DerbyChrisW) January 3, 2019
On the GMB host's claim "no one" asked for a vegan roll, Williamson fumed:
Err, yes they were. Veganism is the future Piers. It's not just about animal rights. Read the IPCC report.— Chris Williamson MP #GTTO (@DerbyChrisW) January 3, 2019
If you can eat well, without being reliant on cruelty and killing, whilst simultaneously helping to prevent climate catastrophe, why not try it?
But Labour frontbencher Angela Rayner - who hails from Stockport - soon rallied to Morgan’s defence, backing his call for a full English breakfast and taking a swipe at northern rival Newcastle for giving rise to the meat-free treat.
Not going to be popular for some but I’m with Piers here. The fact that it was the Newcastle branch of Greggs that came up with the new vegan pastry shocked me the most I knew the Northwest was the real North https://t.co/SypLitD3yC— Angela Rayner (@AngelaRayner) January 3, 2019
A spectacular bonus battle then kicked off as hacks with nothing better to do in the new year lull offered their own hot takes on the hot product, while Tory MP Rob Halfon made it a cross-party affair by demanding equal rights for chicken fans.
Freelance journalist Marie Le Conte went a step further and questioned the motives of politicos pledging allegiance to the little orange-and-yellow fast food shops that could.
So, so baffled by Greggs' popularity on Media Twitter. Is it a mix of working class people now living middle class lives and trying to cling on to their roots and middle class people trying to show how common they are? That's the conclusion I've reached so far.— Marie Le Conte (@youngvulgarian) January 3, 2019
Lobby legend Tim Shipman had his own mind-boggling theory for Gregg’s soaring SW1 popularity. He suggested those tucking into the savoury faves were "simply fans of pastry products".
As of Friday, an estimated 97.6% of all tweets from Westminster were still about the Greggs sausage roll. It's almost like there's something big on the horizon they don't want to think about.
god, give us the Withdrawal Bill again so the Westminster bubble can shut up about the Greggs vegan sausage roll— Tara Jane O'Reilly (@tarajaneoreilly) January 4, 2019
Hang on in there, it's nearly real news time again.