John McDonnell has accused Theresa May of laughing like a “feeding seal”, as he made fun of the prime minister for performing a fast u-turn on a key Budget measure.
Speaking in the Commons today, the shadow chancellor said Philip Hammond’s Budget, delivered only last week, was now in “chaos” after he ditched a planned rise in National Insurance in the face of a Tory rebellion.
“It is shocking and humiliating. The chancellor has been forced to come here to reverse a key budget decision announced less than a week ago.
“If the chancellor had spent less time writing stale jokes for his speech and the prime minister less time guffawing like a feeding seal on those benches, we would not have been landed in this mess.”
May was caught on camera laughing during prime minister’s questions last week shortly before Hammond delivered his Budget in the Commons.
The video of May laughing at Corbyn was widely shared online - including by one Twitter user who edited it to depict her eating a fish.
McDonnell said it was “sickening” that Hammond and May had decided to cut tax for the “rich and corporations” while “large number of self employed people have been put through a mangle over the last week worried about how they would cope with this tax increase”.
He told the chancellor: “Nobody should be too arrogant to use the word sorry.”