The chair of the NI Affairs Committee has criticised his party colleague Nadine Dorries for engaging in “the politics of envy”, after the UK culture secretary mocked Rishi Sunak over his expensive taste in clothing.
Ms Dorries, a supporter of Mr Sunak’s Tory leadership rival Liz Truss, pointed to reports that the millionaire former chancellor has been pictured wearing a £3,500 suit and £490 Prada shoes.
She shared a Daily Mail article to Twitter, highlighting Mr Sunak’s expensive outfit of choice, and wrote: “Liz Truss will be travelling the country wearing her earrings which cost circa £4.50 from Claire (sic) Accessories.
“Meanwhile… Rishi visits Teeside (sic) in Prada shoes worth £450 and sported £3,500 bespoke suit as he prepared for crunch leadership vote.”
Re-sharing Ms Dorries’ tweet on Monday morning, fellow Conservative MP Simon Hoare wrote: “And here was me thinking only the hard left were interested in such things ie the politics of envy. Tory Secretaries of State ain’t what they used to be.”
It is the latest sign of the bitter, highly personal nature of the current leadership battle.
Guildford MP Angela Richardson, a supporter of Mr Sunak, also shot back: “FFS (for f***’s sake) Nadine! Muted.”
Mr Sunak was seen wearing a Henry Herbert suit – worth a reported £3,500 – ahead of the vote which saw him and Ms Truss selected by Tory MPs as the final two candidates to be the next Conservative Party leader and prime minister.
His choice of Prada shoes on a visit to a construction site in Redcar also caught Ms Dorries’ attention.
Earlier this moth, Mr Hoare further slammed former Brexit negotiator Lord Frost as a “failed minister”, after he too waded into the Conservative Party leadership contest.
He had been responding on Twitter to an ITV news article about David Frost and the former Brexit Minister’s call for candidate Kemi Badenoch to pull out of the race for leadership in favour of Ms Truss.
Writing in the Daily Telegraph newspaper, the 57-year-old – who regularly dealt with issues around the NI Protocol – said it was “time for pragmatism” and added that candidates in the Tory Party leadership race should pull out so there can be “unity among free marketeers”.
“Kemi and Suella Braverman set out convincing programmes, with differing emphases, for change,” Lord Frost said.
“But Liz’s depth of experience, her energy and ideas – as well as the simple fact she has the most votes of the three – put her in the lead.
“It is now time for pragmatism. I urge Kemi to stand down in return for a serious job in a Truss administration.”
The chair of the Commons Northern Ireland Select Committee criticised Lord Frost for getting involved.
“I don’t wish to be rude but who the hell is an unelected, failed minister to tell any MP what to do?” Mr Hoare tweeted.
“For some unknown reason David Frost perpetually thinks we give a flying xxxx what he thinks. We don’t and we won’t.”