UK

Jim Sheridan MP Savaged By Sketch Writers After Calling Them 'Parasitic' In Aftermath Of Leveson Deal

20/03/2013 12:22 GMT | Updated 20/03/2013 14:25 GMT

Parliamentary sketch writers have taken their revenge on an MP who called for "parasitic" journalists to be banned from Westminster.

Labour's Jim Sheridan must have anticipated the abuse that came his way after he claimed some members of the press gallery "have abused their position in here, in terms of hiding behind their pens and calling people names."

Speaking in the aftermath of controversial plans to regulate the press, the member for Paisley and Renfrewshire North told a Commons committee: "I dont understand why they are allowed to come into this place and behave in the way they do.

"Under these proposals it's not going to stop them behaving the way they behave, but hopefully it will bring some sort of decency to them."

An attempt to clarify his remarks only fanned the flames, as Sheridan claimed writers who attacked politicians' appearances should be "banned".

He later told Metro his attack was aimed at the "trivial" sketch writers sitting in the press gallery.

Their response duly came in Thursday's newspapers.

In the Daily Telegraph, Michael Deacon dedicated his column to Sheridan, "the noblest politician of this or any era."

He said he would not mention Sheridan's expenses claims for a "42-inch plasma TV and a leather bed."

"A parasitical element might, for instance, call him a cavilling joy-vacuum, a waddling autocrat manqué, a great swollen zeppelin of self-importance, his face sour as vinegar and his voice dull as drizzle," he wrote, adding: "I, however would write no such thing."

At the Mail, Quentin Letts let rip at "the old booby," dubbing him "a hunched ball of scowling, scarlet crossness."

Describing the moment Sheridan made his remark, he wrote: "'The words rose from the murky depths, down in the tripe linings of Vesuvius’s belly. Glurp! Out they shot, purple-hot projectiles of bile, their master sitting there with chin to chest, balefulness in an off-the-peg suit."