23 May 2024

Mordaunt likens SNP adversary to Black Knight from Monty Python

23 May 2024

Commons Leader Penny Mordaunt has likened her SNP adversary to the repeatedly defeated Black Knight from Monty Python.

Over the parliamentary session Ms Mordaunt and her SNP counterpart Deidre Brock have exchanged weekly blows over a range of issues including Brexit, Scottish independence and the Leader of the House’s social media activity.

On Thursday Ms Mordaunt said she considered herself and shadow Commons leader Lucy Powell “hairdresser buddies” as she wished everyone good luck “for the next chapter”.

She went on to compare the SNP MP for Edinburgh North and Leith to the knight depicted in Monty Python and the Holy Grail that does not admit defeat, even after having both arms and legs cut off.

Ms Brock began her questions in the Commons asking about the infected blood compensation scheme and the cost of border checks as a result of Brexit.

She continued: “Given the general reluctance to talk about Brexit chaos, perhaps we could ask for a statement tomorrow on the legacy of 14 years of Tory chaos as this Government stutters to its end?

“What a list to choose from. English rivers so filthy the Chief Medical Officer warns people to not even paddle in them, or endless strikes in the NHS in England with nurses using food banks to feed their families, national debt at over £2 trillion, the highest personal tax burdens since 1948, mortgages doubled or tripled virtually overnight, thanks to Tory incompetence.”

She added: “We could debate alternatives but with Labour meekly accepting £18 billion in public service cuts, junking its £28 billion green spending promise and carrying on with the Brexit chaos, you won’t find changes on the Labour benches.

“If this place ever looked to Scotland for inspiration instead, I could happily discuss, for example, the benefits of having a water service owned by the people and where profits aren’t flying into the hands of shareholders, the Scottish NHS where there are no strikes, or a Government that protects its citizens and mitigates against the cost of living crisis.

“I have only just scratched the surface but I am aware I am time limited like this Government.

“So lastly, may I pay a genuine tribute to the enormous help (Ms Mordaunt) has been to the cause of Scottish independence and wish her very well in her next career, whatever her future brings.”

Ms Mordaunt replied: “It’s going to be a fun six weeks I think”, and paid tribute to Ms Brock who she claimed to “admire greatly”.

She said: “Rather like Monty Python’s Black Knight she returns every week with no discernible loss of enthusiasm, threatening to bite my legs off.

“And her resilience in the midst of the implosion of her own party has been impressive and if I may, gently say to her, I think that’s a rather British quality.

“I don’t know what she says about the cause of independence, I think the polls say that is losing considerable support, but I have to say our weekly exchanges have certainly gone down well with the Scottish Unionist contingent and what they will do, given that this will be our last exchange I do not know.”

Conservative former leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith went on to tell Ms Mordaunt: “I’m very saddened to find that I wasn’t asked to be a member of the hairdressing club. I simply cannot understand why that was not the case.”

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