Johnny Mercer warns of 'Inbetweeners' politics
The mum of a new 25-year-old Labour MP has rushed to defend him after Johnny Mercer’s “Inbetweeners” jibe.
Keir Mather has become the youngest MP in the Commons – the Baby of the House – after swiping Selby and Ainsty from the Tories in the by-election.
Mr Mercer earlier compared Mr Mather to a character from the cult Channel 4 comedy The Inbetweeners, which follows four teenage friends who end up in awkward and embarrassing situations.
The former British Army officer said Labour’s newest MP had spent more time at university than in a job and accused him of “parroting” party lines.
But his mum Jill Tambarros has now stepped in to defend her son’s young age and even tipped him for a future prime minister.
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She told Sky News: “He does not appear to be like a 25-year-old – he’s confident, he’s mature, he’s got a good head on his shoulders.”
Ms Tambarros said he had experience working in Parliament with Labour frontbencher Wes Streeting and at the Confederation of British Industry.
She went on: “Plus he’s done other things, like working in a cafe, working on the street selling paella, chopping up meat in a butcher’s van, so he has seen something of life.
“And living on a student grant is quite hard as well so you really do have to budget, so it’s not as if he hasn’t ever done anything, so I think he’s got a lot to offer.”
On whether he could become PM one day, Ms Tambarros added: “Why not? Never say never. He’s 25, he’s really excelled so far, so what’s to stop him from excelling further? He’s got a lot of time to do it.”
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Her intervention comes after Mr Mercer warned of politics becoming a “repeat of The Inbetweeners”.
The Portsmouth North MP said: “I think it’s always good to get new people in politics. I think we mustn’t become a repeat of The Inbetweeners, you have got to have people who have done stuff.”
Asked what he meant, the veterans minister went on: “This guy has been at Oxford University more than he’s been in a job.
“You put a chip in him there, and he just relates Labour lines. And the problem is people have had enough of that, right?
“They want people who are authentic, people who have worked in that constituency, who know what life is like, who understand what life is like, to live, work and raise a family in communities like theirs.
“So no, I’m afraid I don’t agree with this style of politics. It’s exactly why people like me didn’t vote before the 2015 general election because you’ve got people with nothing to do with the constituency just dropped in and put a chip in them and they’ll start parroting Labour Party politics.”
Mr Mather this morning joked that he had “heard far worse” when asked how he felt about becoming the Baby of the House.
Speaking after the results in the North Yorkshire constituency, he said: “As a young person in politics, I really hope to be a representative for the power that young people have to make a difference.”
Asked about whether he could fully understand voters’ concerns at the age of 25, he said: “Well, I’m a taxpayer too, I feel the pressures like anyone else.”
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