MPs have been blasted for ‘noisily mocking’ Louth and Horncastle MP Sir Peter Tapsell during Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday.
Political blogger for the Daily Telegraph’s website, James Kirkup, has written in defence of Sir Peter who he calls ‘magnificent’ in the wake of today’s Parliamentary debate.
There were audible groans and laughs from MPs as the Father of the House challenged Prime Minister David Cameron with a lengthy question about the prospect of competitive devaluations, or ‘currency wars’ within the G7.
But James Kirkup, Deputy Political Editor for the Daily Telegraph, said MPs had paid ‘little apparent attention’ to the actual question posed by Sir Peter.
He wrote in his piece, entitled ‘In praise of Sir Peter Tapsell: if MPs respected their elders more, voters would respect them more’: “Sir Peter paints on a broad canvass, his questions encompassing the broadest sweep of history and economics. Today was no exception.
“Now, you can debate whether Sir Peter is right in his analysis or even whether devaluations are something to worry about, and there are enough economists as others who take a contrary view. (Including, notably, some senior Lib Dems). But it’s surely a debate worth having, and it’s surely the sort of debate our Parliament is supposed to have.
“So it’s sad that Sir Peter’s questions are inevitably greeted with comedy groans and cheers from fellow MPs, noisily mocking his crisp diction and advanced age, and paying little apparent attention to his actual questions.”
He said ‘shame on MP’s’ who mocked Sir Peter during today’s debate in the House of Commons.
After the blog was published, several notable political figures had their say via Twitter.
Liberal Democrat adviser Giles Wilkes said Sir Peter Tapsell was ‘180 degrees out’ but others have backed the 83-year-old.
Nadine Dorries MP, the high profile minister who appeared on ITV’s ‘I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here!’ said James Kirkup was ‘bang on’.
“The manner in which some MPs regard those who have earnt their stripes is sadly lacking,” she said.
But Labour MP Chris Bryant tweeted: “He’s funny because he’s so prolix and a caricature of himself.”
Kirkup himself tweeted during the debate saying: “Everyone likes to mock Sir Peter Tapsell but how many other MPs use PMQs to raise genuinely important issues like (so-called) currency wars?”