It’s almost never a quiet week when it comes to the Conservative Party but this week, which coincided with the Tories national conference in Manchester, proved rife for facepalming.
It was a week that saw increasing concerns over food, fuel and driver shortages, and the Tories take the controversial move to scrap the £20 uplift in Universal Credit.
Then there was the icing on an already terrible cake: it was the week of the Conservative Party Conference, where right-wing nonsense was concentrated in Manchester’s Central Convention Complex and was bound to get worse.
We wish we didn’t have to, but here are 15 times Conservative MPs really got it wrong over the past seven days.
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1. Culture secretary Nadine Dorries said “no one” would be pushed into poverty by the Universal Credit cut
In a brief chat with journalist Owen Jones at the party conference, Dorries also said that the government was “giving people a step out”.
The Joseph Rowntree Foundation, however, estimate that the £20-a-week cut risks 500,000 people falling into poverty.
2. A “desperately difficult” £82,000 salary
In an interview with The New Statesman, Sir Peter Bottomley, the Father of the House of Commons, said the salary for MPs is “grim” and should be the same as a GP’s.
3. Sunak’s ‘OCD’ dishwasher habits
4. Thérèse Coffey having ‘the time of her life’
The work and pensions secretary was filmed singing to the Dirty Dancing track during a karaoke event at the party conference, on the eve of the cut to Universal Credit taking effect.
5. Dominic Raab not knowing what ‘misogyny’ means
The former foreign secretary, demoted to justice secretary in Boris Johnson’s recent reshuffle, told BBC Breakfast that “insults and misogyny” are “absolutely wrong”, whether it’s “a man against a woman, or a woman against a man” – the latter actually being known as ‘misandry’.
6. Sir Iain Duncan Smith calling for people to return to the office because they kept going “in the 1940s”
The ex-work and pensions secretary wrote in the Daily Mail that “instead of rising to the challenge” of Covid like those in the Second World War would have done, people have “thrown their hands up in despair”.
7. Sajid Javid telling the public to “turn to family first” for social care support
The health secretary’s remarks at Conservative Party Conference angered Twitter users, amid an ongoing debate about the funding of social care support.
8. Michael ‘Jon Bon Govey’ Gove
Boris Johnson made the remarks about the new secretary of state for levelling up, housing and communities during his party conference speech, in reference to the MP being captured busting some moves on dance floors across the country.
9. Build Back Batter, Bitter and Butter
In a series of short videos posted to social media, the prime minister made a series of “bizarre” puns on his party’s slogan.
10. People need to “get off their Pelotons”
Oliver Dowden, the Conservative Party chairman, insulted civil servants by saying that they needed to “get off their Pelotons and back to their desks”.
11. ‘Woke-ing’ from home
Jake Berry, former Northern Powerhouse minister, commented on people returning to work and said: “We have to end the civil service ‘woke-ing’ from home. Sorry, I mean ‘working’ from home, but let’s be honest, it often is woke-ing.”
12. Office gossip
Sticking with the whole working from home thing, Boris Johnson said this week that people should go back to the office or risk their colleagues gossiping about them.
13. Nadine Dorries, who used to employ her daughters, slammed the BBC for ‘nepotism’
Speaking at party conference, she said: “We’re having a discussion about how the BBC can become more representative of the people who pay the licence fee, and how it can be more accessible to people from all backgrounds, not just people whose mum and dad worked there.”
14. He’s behind you!
Like something fresh out of a pantomime, Kit Malthouse told Good Morning Britain during an interview in Manchester that he has “no idea where [the prime minister] is” in the conference centre, only for the camera to pan around to show the Tory leader just metres away.
Finally, after all this, Mr Johnson is apparently on holiday in the Costa del Sol, angering members of the public who think he should be doing more important things.
We could do with one ourselves after listing all this twaddle.