Steerpike

Frank Field throws stones from an inherited glass house

Frank Field throws stones from an inherited glass house
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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'...

Written bySteerpike

Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from London and beyond. Email tips to steerpike@spectator.co.uk.

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