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Tory MP Chope Calls Commons Staff 'Servants'
Tory MP Christopher Chope has caused a stir by calling catering workers in the House of Commons "servants".
The MP made the comment during a questions session to the House of Commons Commission, the body which looks after administration and services for MPs.
It came after Lib Dem John Thurso responded to a question about the expense of eating in the special parliamentary dining rooms.
Mr Chope, the MP for Christchurch in Dorset, told how he had eaten for three nights in the Commons dining rooms "and almost nobody else was present".
"The service was absolutely fantastic because there was three-to-one service - three servants for each person sitting down," he said.
MPs around him reacted, shouting out "servants", but Mr Chope said "exactly" and carried on with his point.
Labour MPs were quick to leap on the comment, highlighting it as evidence of the Tories still being the "nasty party".
Former Labour minister Angela Eagle wrote on Twitter: "Tory MP Christopher Chope let's the cat out of the bag by referring to HoC waiters and waitresses as 'servants'!"
Jonathan Ashworth MP added: "Good grief - a Tory MP in the commons has just described the catering staff who work in the Commons dining rooms as 'servants'."
Kevan Jones added: "A Tory MP just referred to the House of Commons catering staff as 'servants'. The mask has slipped again..."
It was noted by other commentators that it came after Mr Chope had said businesses should not be forced to pay the minimum wage.
Grandmother Heather Smart wrote: "Oh dear Tory MP Christopher Chope calls staff at HoC servants! this after says businesses should be allowed to opt out of the minimum wage."
Mr Chope, 65, a former minister in both the transport and environment departments, has one of the safest Tory seats - securing a majority of 15,410 in 2010.