Grant Shapps voted against the capping of payday loan interest rates this week – despite having written a report slamming extortionate APRs just three years ago.
In his report entitled “Pay-Day for Loan Sharks”, written when he was shadow housing minister, he set out his opposition to the extortionate interest rates charged by legal loan sharks. The publicity-seeking report quotes him directly:
“… we think it is obscene that anyone should end up paying 10,000% APR, particularly when the evidence suggests that these loans are targeted at some of the most vulnerable members of our society.”
Yet when Stella Creasy’s amendment on the issue came to a vote on Tuesday, Shapps’ name was clearly listed amongst the noes, alongside several of his frontbench colleagues. The irony is almost palpable, given that Shapps’ report said:
“The government has dithered and delayed in dealing with the important factors at the heart of this issue …”
As ever, modesty and consistency are secondary considerations to Shapp’s insatiable desire to see his name in print. On the same day as his apparent interest rate U-turn, Shapps put out a press release claiming that he was going to tackle “riot tourism”.
A non-announcement surely worthy of DOSAC.
On Wednesday Scrapbook reported the sorry tale of a Tory MP who attempted to throw a younger female colleague out of a lift reserved for MPs. The old duffer concerned has now been exposed as Conservative defence minister Andrew Robathan.
Presumably assuming the 34 year-old Walthamstow MP was a lowly parliamentary staffer, Robathan chastised Stella Creasy for using the members-only facility and demanded to see her pass:
The apology subsequently offered to Creasy in the tea room seems somewhat hollow given that the minister still denied to the Telegraph that he had behaved rudely:
“I was not rude to her at all. Not unreasonably there are some lifts that are for MPs and wheelchair users only. I challenged two people who I had never set eyes on.”
Forgive our cynicism, but Scrapbook finds it hard to believe Robathan, whose previous exploits include conspiring to block a Private Member’s Bill on debt relief “vulture funds”, would have challenged a middle-aged man.
Nasty man. Nasty party.
In what is sure to be added to the long list of anecdotal sexism on the parliamentary estate, a middle-aged male MP attempted to throw a younger female colleague out of a lift reserved for members this afternoon. It seems our villain assumed 34 year-old Stella Creasy was a researcher rather than the, erm, MP for Walthamstow.
Dr. Creasy continued:
“He came storming in and said neither of us could read as it was a lift for wheelchair users and MPs only … he demanded to see my badge.”
Widely considered to be a rising star within her own party, it seems somewhat unlikely a Labour member would fail to recognise her (and vice-versa). With a modest number of “right on” Indy-reading Liberal Democrats, suspicion will inevitably fall on the Tories’ sizeable contingent of dinosaurs.
Does anyone have any idea who this is?