Tory MP Christopher Chope has sparked a minor class war by referring to catering staff in the House of Commons as "servants" and suggesting MPs should get cheaper meals.
Speaking in the Commons on Thursday morning, the Christchurch MP said he had eaten in Commons restaurants for three nights last week but "almost nobody else was present".
"The service was absolutely fantastic because there was three-to-one service - three servants for each person sitting down," he said.
Incredulous Labour MPs picked up on his description of waiters and waitresses by shouting "servants?" across the chamber.
Shadow leader of the Commons Angela Eagle said Chope had let the "cat out of the bag" with his comment.
Labour MP Jonathan Ashworth added on Twitter: "Good grief - a Tory MP in the Commons has just described the catering staff who work in the Commons dining rooms as 'servants'."
And Chope's suggestion that MPs should get discount prices in parliament's restaurants is unlikely to go down well with a public still smarting from the expenses scandal in 2009.
"One way of engaging the members of the House today who don't use the dining rooms would be to offer them much cheaper rates," he said.
Lib Dem John Thurso, speaking for the Commons authorities, poured cold water on the idea. "There is clearly a balance to be struck between attracting people in at the right price and prices being so low that they do not recover the appropriate cost," he said.
The incident is no pleb-gate, but the prime minister must despair at his MPs, who can not seem to stop making it easy for Labour to paint the Tories as out of touch rich folk.
HuffPost UK invites Chope, and any other cash strapped MPs, for lunch in the press gallery bar where egg & cress sandwiches are on sale for a very reasonable £1.45.
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