A Tory MP has been nominated for a Didn’t Happen Of The Year award after claiming that people approach him on the tube saying the government should “just get on” with Brexit – and he’s not happy.
North Shropshire MP Owen Paterson appeared on Channel 4 news this week to discuss the ongoing wrangling over the UK’s EU exit when he made the claim, capturing the attention of several cynics.
Asked by presenter Jon Snow: “What are you going to do if we don’t leave?”, Paterson replied: “If we don’t leave, this whole saga carries on.
“People would be dismayed. People come up to me on the tube, on the trains, saying ‘just get on with it’.”
The scepticism was led by Labour MP Louise Haigh, who tweeted in response: “No one is talking to anyone on the tube @DHOTYA”.
She tagged the popular Twitter account, which has 140,000 followers and chronicles grand tales told online that sound unlikely.
The plot thickened when Paterson doubled down on his claim, writing a formal response to Haigh (on House of Commons letterhead, naturally), calling for her to “withdraw her nomination publicly”.
“On Monday, a man came up to me unprompted and encouraged me to continue my public comments urging the government to deliver Brexit on time,” he wrote.
“I am surprised that you did not discuss the matter with me before publicising your stunt. As I said in the House earlier, the gentleman even gave me his card.”
He added: “You are most welcome to come to my office to see it for yourself”.
But the nomination has already gathered momentum, with the @DHOTYA account tweeting: “So can I just confirm you’d still like to nominate @OwenPaterson for #DHOTYA2019? If so, I will confirm him as part of the final 32 tonight.”
Looks like Paterson is still a contender.