POLITICS

'Mrs And Mrs MEP' EU Colouring Book Is Sexist, Says David Cameron

28/06/2013 14:37 BST | Updated 28/06/2013 15:06 BST

At a time when the European Union seems to have lost any positive influence on the older generation, it's natural that it should turn its focus to the young, and what better way than through a colouring book?

Except, that too, would turn into a PR nightmare for the EU, with the playful children's book 'Mr And Mrs MEP' held up by media and even David Cameron as a near parodical example of wastefulness and bureaucracy.

The 10-page colouring book 'Mr And Mrs MEP and their helpers', which has a print run of 15,000, was first held up for mockery in a blog by the Telegraph's Brussel's correspondent Bruno Waterfield.

mep

The front page of the colouring and puzzle book

He pointed out examples of "Mrs And Mrs MEP" being greeted by limousines as they arrive at Brussels Airport and later, as Mr MEP is working away in his office, four people are needed to post a letter, the MEP himself, an assistant, a messenger and a postman.

The colouring book turns the long-controversial European Parliament move once a month from Brussels to Strasbourg into a jolly word search. MEPs have voted to ban the "travelling circus", which uses hundreds of trucks and costs thousands each month to transfer offices across the continent, but the conference of Presidents refuses to debate it.

The Daily Mail reported David Cameron, who met European leaders on Thursday took it to the official dinner to show his colleagues an example of money-wasting.

mep

The now infamous letter-sending page of the book

British sources said German Chancellor Angela Merkel in particular had been "astounded" that taxpayers were funding such material.

On Friday, Cameron called the colouring book "sexist" - because Mrs MEP leaves the office early to go shopping.

Cameron said : "At first they thought that it was a hoax by the Telegraph... I had to convince them that it was a genuine, scandalous waste of money.

"It is pretty sexist at that - because Mrs MEP stops at 6pm to go shopping, Mr MEP goes on till 6.40pm."

He went on: "Without giving away too many names, a number of other European leaders were pretty appalled by this and this is the sort of thing the EU need to cut out if it is to have any chance of winning people's confidence that it spends money carefully."

SEE ALSO: Cameron 'Locks And Loads And Has One Up The Spout'