The debating chamber of House of Commons can be an unforgiving place. But on Tuesday it was reminiscent of a rap battle in 8 Mile. But, you know, in Marks & Spencer suits.
It began in less than promising circumstances as pro-Brexit Labour MP Frank Field attempted to face down dissenters in his own party during a debate on legislation to rubber-stamp the UK’s exit from the EU.
To make a point about the need for a deadline to conclude negotiations with Brussels, Field attempted a metaphor suggesting that you would never buy a house without having a completion date in mind.
But Labour colleague Hilary Benn indicated he was over-reaching, saying the comparison fell flat as “nobody commits to a date until they know what they’re buying”. Fierce.
But Field was going to have the final word. “I’ve always bought my houses, not inherited them,” the Merseyside MP spat back.
It was a reference, doubtless, to Benn’s privileged background as the son of left-wing firebrand Tony Benn, who had to forego an inherited peerage to become an MP.