This week, there was a rare sight for the post snap-election political landscape: two Labour MPs having a barney. On the first day of the Committee Stage of the EU Withdrawal Bill, Frank Field and Hilary Benn became engaged in an argument after Field, a 'reluctant Brexiteer', used a house analogy to argue in favour of the government amendment calling for the date of Britain's departure from the EU in the bill.
He said he had never bought a house 'without having in the contract the date when it’s mine'. Benn, the son of Tony Benn, hit back by saying the analogy was lacking as 'nobody commits to a date to buy a house before they know what it is that they’re buying'. Things then took a rather catty turn when Field made the point that he had 'always bought my houses, never inherited them.' Field later apologised.
So, Mr S was curious to discover that Field has in fact inherited a house. The Labour MP inherited his mother's house in Chiswick – as detailed in the 1998 register of members' interests:
Happily, Field is on hand to clear up any confusion. He says that while he did inherit a house – it was not a house that he lived in; 'It was a gift that I then made a gift'.
Still, Mr S suspects Field could still take something from the old adage 'people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones'...