Grant Shapps visits Ramsbottom amid row over 'patronising' tweet

First published in Bury Times: Photograph of the Author by , reporter

GOVERNMENT minister Grant Shapps was embroiled in a Twitter storm and labelled as “out of touch” before a visit to Ramsbottom this morning.

Mr Shapps, the Conservative Party chairman, used his Twitter account to upload a poster which celebrated the cuts in beer and bingo tax announced in Wednesday’s budget.

However, the tweet has been labelled as “patronising”, and has led to a number of parodies being created, with the hashtag #torybingo trending on Twitter.

Mr Shapps’s tweet read: “#budget2014 cuts bingo & beer tax helping hardworking people do more of the things they enjoy.”

Jon Ashworth MP, Labour’s shadow cabinet office minister, said: “This patronising advert shows again how out of touch David Cameron’s government is.

“The Tory mask has slipped and revealed a party stuck in the past and only comfortable standing up for the privileged few.”

Mr Shapps was in Ramsbottom this morning with Bury North MP David Nuttall, Bury Tory leader Cllr Iain Gartside, Ramsbottom Cllr Ian Bevan and newly elected Ramsbottom Cllr Robert Hodkinson.

The Bury Times previously reported on a knitting campaign which provides hats to troops in Afghanistan, which was set up by Conservatives in Mr Shapps’s constituency in Hertfordshire, and was criticised by former Ramsbottom councillor Joanne Columbine.

Mrs Columbine resigned shortly after due to “family reasons”, and Cllr Hodkinson replaced her following a by-election on March 6.

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