Theresa May Said 'Simples' In The House Of Commons 'Because Of A Bet'

The meerkat is out of the bag.

Last week, Theresa May shocked parliament when she channeled a catchphrase that was popular at the turn of the decade to encourage MPs to back her Brexit deal.

Now it’s emerged there could have been a reason for the curious, jarring turn of phrase: the Prime Minister did it because of a bet.

May was answering a question from the Scottish National Party’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford when she declared: “He should vote for a deal - simples.”

‘Simples’ was popularised thanks to the CGI-character Aleksandr the Meerkat from the Compare the Market adverts, which first launched in 2009.

According to the Mail on Sunday, Seema Kennedy, May’s parliamentary private secretary, won tea at the Ritz hotel as a result of the prime minister’s bizarre statement.

It reports that she had a wager with Tory MP Simon Hoare that she could get her boss to say the word.

Tea at the Ritz starts from £58 a head - or £77 with a glass of champagne.

SNP leader and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted of the bet: “Jolly japes ... while they drive the country to catastrophe. What a shambolic shower.”