Steerpike Steerpike

What has the killjoy Speaker got against oysters and champagne?

In his campaign to make every single member of the Conservative benches want to throttle him, the Speaker launched a bizarre broadside against Winston Churchill’s grandson Sir Nicholas Soames on Monday. Hansard reports the moment as such:

Sir Nicholas Soames (Mid Sussex) (Con): Is my hon. Friend aware of the serial bad behaviour by the Co-op in my constituency and others in the south, where it is taking over pubs and converting them into shops, often on very unsatisfactory sites? The Ship Inn in Cuckfield in my constituency is uniquely badly placed to serve as a Co-op. Will he look at what he can do to review the article 4 direction scheme, and to give general instructions about where such shops should be sited?

Mr Speaker: That was a splendidly detailed question. There was I thinking that the right hon. Gentleman was going to tell us about the champagne and oysters that he consumes in his community pub, but I was wrong.

What has the Speaker got against such a popular delicacy? Perhaps he should pop a cork; he may even lighten up a little.

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