The Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has said in the House of Commons that the British public have been told by the Tories to “eff off” and they will return the sentiment to the government during the next general election.
The defeated Tory MP of the Tamworth by-election candidate Andrew Cooper had followed government policy by “throwing expletives at struggling families” in a social media post which has since been deleted.
Cooper posted a mock flowchart which was shared on Facebook after being defeated in the polls and he suggested that those people who are out of work, pay for “TV Sky/BT/etc”, or “have a phone contract + £30” should “f*** off” instead of seeking help.
The Labour leader told the Commons, “Can I start by welcoming the new member for Mid Bedfordshire (Mr Strathern)? The first Labour MP ever to represent those beautiful towns and villages.
“He defied the odds of history and of course the fantasy Lib Dem bar charts.
“Can I also welcome the new member for Tamworth (Sarah Edwards)? She will be a powerful representative for her constituents.
“Is the Prime Minister as relieved as I am that those constituents are not burdened with his defeated candidate (Cooper), who told them – don’t worry Mr Speaker, I am going to sanitise this – to ‘eff off if they’re struggling with the cost of living’?”
The Prime Minister Rishi Sunak welcomed the two new Labour MPs following the collasal Tory defeat in the polls.
Sunak joked in reference to Nadine Dorries, that Alistair Strathern, the new member for Mid Bedfordshire, could “actually support me a little bit more than the last one.”
The Commons erupted with laughter and Sunak added, “Although, I did notice that the new member said that they will be opposing new housing in their local area while the new member for Tamworth claimed that they will protect green spaces.
“I would urge them to have a word with their leader, because that’s not exactly his position – although with his track record of U-turns, who knows what his housing policy will be next week?”
Sir Keir responded by saying, “So much for being the change candidate. He can’t even distance himself from those appalling comments.
“But I do have to ask him… where on earth does the Prime Minister think his candidate got the idea in the first place, that throwing expletives at struggling families was his Government’s official position?”
Sunak told MPs, “Let’s just look at the record of what this Government is doing to help those people. Paying for around half of a typical family’s energy bill over the last year, support (of) over £1,500.
“For the most vulnerable in our society receiving £900 in direct cost-of-living support, record increases in the national living wage, record increases in welfare, and this winter, pensioners to receive an extra two (hundred) or £300 alongside their winter fuel payment to help them through what we know is a tough time.
“All of that significant support funded by this Government, all of that would be put at risk by Labour’s reckless plans to borrow £28 billion.”
The Labour leader said that the government has “abandoned” people who are struggling with rising food costs, rent and mortgages.
He added, “The truth is, his candidate in Tamworth summed up perfectly just how his and his Tories are treating the British public.
!So will he just call a general election and give the British public the chance to respond, as they did in Selby, Mid Beds and Tamworth?
“They have heard the Government telling them to ‘eff off’ and they want the chance to return the compliment.”
The Prime Minister said, “As we saw with his recent decisions on actually building new houses, politicians like him (Sir Keir) always take the easy way out.
“We are getting on making the right long-term decisions to change this country for the better – on net zero, on HS2, on a smoke-free generation, on education and energy security.”