Openly gay Labour MP Chris Bryant has been referred to as a “pantomime dame” for the second time, this time by work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith.
Answering a question on the universal credit scheme, Mr Duncan Smith directed the jibe at Rhondda MP Chris Bryant.
“I know Christmas is over but I think one of the pantomimes left a pantomime dame on the front bench,” said Duncan Smith, pointing in the general direction of the Labour MP.
Mr Bryant later tweeted to confirm that the joke had been directed at him.
I’ve now been called a pantomime dame by 2 cabinet members. I think they meant it as a slur. Surely that’s a compliment? @MikeDoyleComedy
— Chris Bryant (@ChrisBryantMP) January 13, 2014
Mr Bryant said afterwards: “I don’t think he would have said that phrase if I was not gay.
Mr Osborne was urged to apologise, but instead said that he was simply replying to a joke by Mr Bryant during which he called him “Mr Hardup”.