It’s 2014 — but apparently Iain Duncan Smith thinks it’s okay to refer to a gay colleague as a “pantomime dame”. The cabinet member made the homophobic jibe to out Labour shadow minister Chris Bryant during work and pensions questions earlier this afternoon:
Er, IDS just called Chris Bryant a "pantomime dame".
Yesterday saw family values Tory and serial fibber Nadine Dorries introduce her “Sex Education (Required Content)” bill as a Ten Minute Rule motion. The proposal would legislate for the mandatory teaching of abstinence to 13-16 year old girls (but not boys).
Providing comic relief to the scaremongering and straight out lies deployed by Dorries in support of the bill (and summarily demolished over at Liberal Conspiracy) was an intervention by Labour’s Chris Bryant. As Dorris complained of “sex magazines edging out the serious stuff” he interjected:
Nadine Dorries (Mid Bedfordshire) (Con): In fact, in some newsagents now there are more sex magazines available than any other kind of magazine.
Chris Bryant (Rhondda) (Lab): Well, stop going to those shops then.
Photos of Dorries visiting such premises “for research” will be gratefully received.
Deputy Prime Minister’s questions yesterday heralded a fierce exchange with Chris Bryant, with the Shadow Minister for Political and Constitutional Reform claiming of Nick Clegg:
“He’s gone from sanctimony to arrogance in one very short year. The answers of the Deputy Prime Minister’s answers are phenomenal.”
The DPM responded by, erm, pulling strange faces across the dispatch box. To immortalise this lapse in decorum, Scrapbook has created an animated GIF (593k so it may take a moment to load on slower connections):
Labour’s Shadow Cabinet elections got busier again yesterday with at least two more hopefuls (including Mike Gapes and Wayne David) sending out emails to their parliamentary colleagues. Following changes to the PLP rules women can count on a minimum of seven places at the top table. Including Harriet Harman this means a minimum of six will be elected from the Commons, as shown below:
Though the proportion of women running for shadow cabinet is approximately the same as the men, there are far fewer female incumbents looking for a return. Yvette Cooper and Tessa Jowell are the only two women from the Brown ministry seeking election to the shadow cabinet, in addition to Rosie Winterton, who has been shadowing the Leader of the House of Commons following Harriet Harman’s temporary accession to the leadership.
Amongst the men, however, there are 14 male incumbents expected to run for a maximum of 13 places (see above). Scrapbook understands that the likes of Steven Twigg, Chris Bryant and David Lammy have worked the new intake hard making it increasingly likely that a number of incumbent shadow cabinet males won’t win election in a few weeks.
Therefore if you’re a female member of the Parliamentary Labour Party your chances of promotion are far greater than if you’re a man.
Its widely thought that of the three Peter Hain will be the one who struggles to get elected to the ShadCab, with the prevailing sentiment amongst the PLP being that he’s part of a generation whose time is up. But Scrapbook has it on good authority that Bryant and Brennan are both desperate to see Hain elected to the Shadow Cabinet so that neither of them are stuck with the Wales job.
Of course political favours will be doled out by the victorious leadership candidate: with Bryant backing David Miliband; Hain backing Ed Miliband; and Brennan backing Ed Balls.
More than likely for whomever gets the Wales job it’ll be a punishment.