Picked out for 'dead cat' duty on the day the result of the Jennifer Arcuri investigation was due - step up Crawley MP Henry Smith. His chosen tool of distraction? A tweet calling fellow MPs working remotely during the Covid19 crisis 'lazy' and 'work-shy'.
It would be hard to describe the outcome without using the words 'royally' and 'ratioed'. It didn't play well...
Apparently not having received the memo about cross-party working, he tweeted:
"Not that I should be surprised by the lazy left but interesting how work-shy socialist and nationalist MPs tried to keep the remote Parliament going beyond 2 June"
Presumably included among the massed ranks of the work-shy lefties are fellow Tory MPs Robert Halfon and Michael Fabricant, both of whom have been outspoken in their opposition to reopening Parliament as normal...
While neither Halfon nor Fabricant has chosen to take their colleague to task, Labour MPs were quick to point out that in fact working remotely where possible was literally his government's advice during the pandemic - and also that while Smith might consider not being physically in Parliament to be a holiday, some MPs do some work in their actual constituencies.
At the time of writing, Smith's tweet had received more than 2,200 replies, of which we found roughly three to be in agreement with his stance. Nevertheless, he has neither apologised for nor deleted it - or, indeed, this one from 2013, where he infamously called Russian premier Vladimir Putin a 'tosser'
A search of Smith's Twitter posts reveals a worrying lack of any effort to communicate his government's lockdown advice - or to advocate the prescribed 'work from home if you can' guidelines - although his own website states that:
"For the first time in over seven centuries Members of Parliament can question Government ministers remotely as our democracy adapts to coronavirus (COVID-19).
Workplaces around the country are adapting to the challenges posed by this pandemic, and the House of Commons is no different"
Unless you're in need of a shovelful of dirt to bury potentially bad news with, perhaps...
But while his fellow MPs have clearly been busy in their constituencies during the Covid-19 crisis, Henry's website suggests that he's too busy to bother interacting with or responding to the people who elected him. Maybe if he spent more time there, and less in Parliament...
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