Friday, July 19, 2013
"Sexist"? British politicians mock colleague's leopard-print outfit behind her back
Boisterous behaviour is traditional in the House of Commons
Senior Tory MPs mocked a former minister’s striking leopard-print outfit behind her back at Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday.
Cheryl Gillan, the former Welsh Secretary, was called to ask David Cameron about plans for the controversial HS2 high-speed rail line, which she bitterly opposes.
As she spoke, Keith Simpson, parliamentary aide to Foreign Secretary William Hague, was heard to make roaring noises while clawing the air like a big cat.
Former education minister Tim Loughton appeared to join in, prompting colleagues seated on adjacent benches to collapse in laughter.
Health Minister Anna Soubry was also seen scratching at the air, and Government whip Anne Milton joined in the merriment but then leant across to pat Mr Simpson on the arm and advise him to stop.
The joke appeared to be directed at Mrs Gillan’s choice of clothes, but also reflected colleagues’ boredom with her focus on the Government’s HS2 project. Since leaving the Cabinet in David Cameron’s last reshuffle, she has asked about little else.