The Chancellor, George Osborne, was accused of being “homophobic” by out gay Labour MP Chris Bryant yesterday for joking that the latter was a “pantomime dame”.

Mr Bryant, the MP for Rhondda, said afterwards: “I don’t think he would have said that phrase if I was not gay.

“I think when he gets back to the office he will probably think to himself ‘I should send a little note saying sorry, I didn’t mean to offend’.

“We all get it wrong sometimes and I think he got it wrong this time,” he added.

Mr Osborne’s aides said he had merely been making a Christmas joke after Mr Bryant accused him of being “Baron Hardup”.

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