‘Patronised’ Norwich MP Chloe Smith gets apology

Norwich North MP Chloe Smith has received an apology from a Labour MP who made a patronising comment about her age during her ministerial debut at the Commons despatch box.

At 29, newly-appointed economic secretary Miss Smith is the youngest minister in the government and a question from Slough Labour MP Fiona Mactaggart made reference to that.

Addressing Miss Smith yesterday (Tuesday), Ms Mactaggart said: 'With women's unemployment and the RPI at a higher level since the Chancellor left university - which is probably when you left primary school - is it not time that this government delivers for women on employment, and can I suggest support for women and delivering on promises before the election for 3,000 more midwives?'

But Ms Mactaggart today (Wednesday) apologised for her patronising comments, saying: 'I have always tried to support women in politics.

'Even when they are on the wrong side I know that for women the path to parliament is rarely easy and almost all have had to face patronising and sexist remarks, many have experienced worse.

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'So when at treasury questions this week I patronised a new Conservative minister, I felt ashamed of myself.'

Miss Smith said she had not expected such outright rudeness on her despatch box debut, but said she accepted the apology.

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