Iain Duncan Smith blasts Starmer’s ‘ludicrous John Lewis stunt’
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Iain Duncan Smith has ridiculed Sir Keir Starmer’s trip to a John Lewis in Manchester as a “ludicrous stunt that shows politicians at their worst”. The Conservative MP called out the Labour leader after a photo op showed Sir Keir browsing the department store’s wallpaper section. Sir Keir used the campaign visit to poke fun at the Prime Minister.
This comes after reports that Boris Johnson and his fiancee Carrie Symonds had rejected furnishings by the department store left in the Number 11 flat by his predecessor Theresa May.
Sir Iain said the story “about the whole issue which led to Keir Starmer heading to John Lewis” looked like a Westminster bubble story.
He mocked the stunt, telling Nick Ferrari on LBC: “What happens in these incredible Westminster stories where there is a feeding frenzy, it goes over the heads of the public.
“They find it either faintly amusing or nothing much to do with them. I think that is what is really going on at the moment.”
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He continued: “I hear from colleagues and no-one is hearing this raised on the doorstep because it’s not what is going on in their lives.
“All of the discussion around lockdowns gets shoved to one side whilst we go after this whole internal issue, which is a Westminster bubble story.”
Mr Ferrari raised the point that the Prime Minister “is now facing four separate inquiries”.
The former Conservative party leader responded: “Those inquiries will no doubt do their work.
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“But the story about this whole issue that has led to Keir Starmer heading to John Lewis does tell you that it looks like a heightened story around Westminster, leading to this ludicrous stunt.”
He remarked that these kinds of stories show “politicians at their worst”.
Safeguarding Minister Victoria Atkins echoed this sentiment in a later interview on LBC, suggesting Sir Keir Starmer’s stunt in John Lewis “sets out” the priorities of the two parties.
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She said: “The leader of the opposition is there performing a stunt with wallpaper, whilst the Prime Minister is visiting a school.”
Conservative Party co-chairman Amanda Milling also accused Sir Keir of “playing politics” on the issue.
Boris Johnson has insisted he is a fan of John Lewis as he faces a probe into the controversial refurbishment of his Downing Street flat.
Reports have suggested wallpaper costing up to £840 a roll was used in the Downing Street flat refurbishment.
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