A PUBLIC SCHOOL educated Tory MP rejected claims of his party’s perceived privilege yesterday as “the worst type of class war stereotypical nonsense.”
Conor Burns, who went to the £14,000 per year St Columba’s College in St Albans, was visibly shaking in the Commons when he hit back at accusations from the Labour benches that he doesn’t understand what it’s like to not know where his next meal is coming from.
He said that he had signed on for the dole in 1994 after graduating from university — the same year in which he failed to win a seat on Southampton Council, having derided his opponents as “spastics.”
The MP for Bournemouth West went on to claim that he was left so impoverished after losing a 2005 general election campaign he had to choose between paying his mortgage and council tax.
The row came during a debate on a private member’s Bill aiming to reform the government’s controversial benefit assessments and sanctions process.
Labour MP Paula Sherriff attacked Mr Burns’s defence of the government, saying: “He is doing his best to suggest he can empathise with people, but I wonder if you have ever experienced not knowing where your next meal is coming from or whether you can feed or clothe your children?”
Mr Burns responded: “I have in fact been in those circumstances. When I was unemployed when I graduated in 1994 in the worst graduate recession since the second world war, when I myself had to sign on.”
We need your support to keep running. If you like what you read please donate by clicking here