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Rail passengers in standard class are "a totally different type of people" moans Tory backbencher who wants the taxpayer to fund his first class travel

WINTERTON-NICK I was listening to David Cameron on Woman's Hour this morning, so missed most of the hour during which Radio 5 Live's Stephen Nolan had Macclesfield's Tory MP Sir Nicholas Winterton in the studio.

Sir Nicholas, who is retiring from the Commons at the general election after nearly forty years in the House, has given an interview to Total Politics magazine now online, covered in today's Daily Mail, in which he bemoans new rules saying that MPs can no longer claim for first class travel.

This was, unsurprisingly, the main matter of contention during his appearance on the 5 Live phone-in and suffice to say, from the excerpts I have heard so far, it sounds like it was an hour-long car crash, during which he came across as the worst kind of caricature of an arrogant, out-of-touch MP.

The quote which was clipped for the news bulletin included him describing those travelling standard class on trains as "a totally different type of people" who have "a different outlook on life".

PoliticsHome carries some of his quotes here.

11.45 am update: CCHQ has issued a statement condemning Sir Nicholas's comments:

"These are the out-of-touch views of a soon-to-retire backbench MP. They do not in any way represent the view of David Cameron and the Conservative Party and should be treated as such."

12.15pm update: The BBC website has written up the story and includes an audio clip of the interview.

5pm update: Eric Pickles has made his feelings clear with this Tweet:

Sir Nick has hit the buffers on his Rail demand; a protracted period in the Standard Class quiet carriage would be welcomed by EVERYONE

Jonathan Isaby


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