Charles Moore recently wrote in his Spectator Notes that a candidate’s looks matter in leadership elections. While discussing the Labour leadership hopefuls, he noted that Liz Kendall 'looks like a nice person, but not in a distinctive way' whereas there is 'something quite appealing' about Yvette Cooper's 'slightly French crop and black and white dresses, especially when she is so boring that one looks rather than listens’.
Not everyone was charmed by Moore's critique, with many defending the ladies' honour online and Nicola Sturgeon even intervening on Twitter.
Tell me this is some kind of bad spoof - Have Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall got the looks for a leadership contest? http://t.co/JAz3hsPKtn
— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) August 23, 2015
Now Cooper has responded to Moore in an interview in this week's issue of The Spectator. Speaking to Mr S's colleague Isabel Hardman, Cooper says the remarks were ‘the most hilarious old-buffer politics’. Fortunately, they didn't leave her particularly worried:
‘The most absurd and outrageous thing. I wasn’t sure whether he said that I might — I just might! — have the looks. It’s like: thanks Charles! I couldn’t quite work out if his argument was because he thought Tory backbenchers would fancy me like they had Margaret Thatcher. You know, that’s one demographic I’m really not appealing to.’
Mr S eagerly awaits Liz Kendall's response...