Fiona MacTaggart Apologies To Chloe Smith For 'Patronising' 29-Year-Old Minister
A female Labour MP has apologised to Treasury minister Chloe Smith for patronising her about her age in the House of Commons.
Speaking during Treasury questions on Tuesday, Slough MP Fiona MacTaggart asked 29-year-old Smith about an apparent rise in female unemployment, which she said was at a higher level than at any time since the Chancellor left university, which was "probably when the hon. Lady left primary school".
The comment caused consternation on the Tory benches. George Osborne, sat next to Smith, looked distinctly unimpressed, shaking his head side to side.
Smith responded: "I have a number of things to say to the hon. Lady, none of which would include any personal questions, of course," she said.
Writing on the Dale & Co blog today, MacTaggart admitted she had made a mistake by appearing to make fun of Smith's age.
"Instead of binning my pre-planned remarks I sailed on, making it worse by noting that at the time she was in primary school. I didn’t think at all about how that must have felt to her at her first outing at the despatch box. That was mean and I am sorry," she wrote.
"She was able graciously to shift into a justifiably self righteous mode about my tone, which made the government's lack of policy redundant. Well done her."