Easy tiger! Shadow minister Chris Bryant accused of flirting with Tories in Parliament
Labour’s new Shadow Culture Secretary Chris Bryant has been accused of flirting with Tory MPs in the House of Commons.
The bizarre exchange took place on Thursday during the Culture, Media and Sport questions, when out MP Mr Bryant – who was promoted to the Shadow Cabinet last month – welcomed new Tory sports minister Tracey Crouch,.
Referring to the appointment of the new sports minister, he said: “I welcome the new sports Minister very warmly. I liked her predecessor enormously, but when she was appointed I just wanted to run around and give her a hug. I am very pleased.”
He continued to welcome continuing Minister of State Ed Vaizey, when Wellingborough MP Peter Bone interjected: “Does he get a hug?”
Mr Bryant responded: “No, he does not get a hug. If he really wants one, he can ask for one later, and so can you.”
Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant heckled Mr Bryant, calling him a “flirt” – before Mr Bryant responded: “Easy tiger! Sorry, Mr Speaker.”
New Culture Secretary John Wittingdale later joked about the exchange, saying: “I welcome the love-in between the two Front Benches, but I am sure it will not last.”
Mr Fabricant later tweeted his amusement at the exchange, which made it into Hansard.
It’s not all love for Mr Bryant, sadly – the shadow minister had a notorious row last year with singer James Blunt, who branded him a ‘classist gimp’.
Mr Bryant was recently named among a number of MPs who claimed expenses to stay in London, while owning a property in the capital.