I don’t want to be friends with any Tories, says Labour MP Laura Pidcock
The North West Durham MP is not interested in shooting the breeze with 'the enemy'.
A newly-elected Labour MP has declared that she has "absolutely no intention" of ever making friends with any Conservative MPs.
Laura Pidcock won rave reviews from many of her party’s supporters for her maiden speech, with one colleague comparing her the formidable Labour politician Aneurin Bevan. Another observer compared her to the SNP’s Mhairi Black.
But her latest comments suggest she might have more in common with Labour veteran Dennis Skinner – who has spent his career giving short shrift to all MPs on the Tory benches.
The North West Durham MP and former charity worker revealed that since entering the Commons in June she had been approached by two Tory MPs who were keen to show their caring side.
"I have met a couple of Tories who were genuinely really anxious for me to see that they weren’t horrible people and really believed putting everything into private enterprise will achieve better results," she told the controversial Skwawkbox website.
But Pidcock stressed that she had no plans to become mates with these two unnamed Tory MPs – or any others.
"Whatever type they are, I have absolutely no intention of being friends with any of them. I have friends I choose to spend time with. I go to parliament to be a mouthpiece for my constituents and class – I’m not interested in chatting on.
"I feel disgusted at the way they’re running this country, it’s visceral – I’m not interested in being cosy…. The idea that they’re not the enemy is simply delusional when you see the effect they have on people – a nation where lots of people live in a constant state of fear whether they even have enough to eat."
Pidcock went on to suggest that Tory MPs fall into two categories.
"My very very initial reflections are that there are two basic types of Tory. You’ve got the ones – like Boris Johnson – who are so blinded by their own privilege and have never experienced hardship, that they genuinely seem unable to see what it’s like in our communities," she said.
"The other type is completely ideologically driven. They seem genuinely to believe capitalism is the best way to improve society and it blinds them to the evidence under their nose."
The Labour MP also recently told Refinery29 that she wouldn't "hang out" with female Tories who are "an enemy to lots of women".
Conservative MP Kemi Badenoch took issue with Pidcock's comments, saying she was friends with Florence Eshalomi, a Labour AM with whom she worked at the London Assembly. "I have family members who vote Labour. If you’re in a position where all the people you know think and look like you, you have a problem," said Badenoch.
Following a social media backlash over her comments, Pidcock later stressed that she was not sidelining Tory constituents or refusing to work with her opponents to get change.
She wrote: "Just to be clear, I represent everyone regardless of who they voted for. I don't ask and don't care who people voted for if they need help from us, they will get it. I have reached out to the Tory MPs several times already and also asked them to sign my letter asking for a pause to Universal Credit, no response. Of course I will work with a Tory if it is going to benefit the people in my constituency, my point was that I have not intention of being their friends. We are ideological opponents."