AN MP was criticised after claiming politicians against reopening Parliament on June 2 were “work shy”.

Crawley MP Henry Smith drew barbs from several MPs on Twitter after accusing left-wing and nationalist politicians of being “lazy”.

“Not that I should be surprised by the lazy left but interesting how work-shy socialist and nationalist MPs tried to keep the remote Parliament going beyond 2 June,” he wrote.

The statement was criticised by Hove MP Peter Kyle, Brighton Kemptown MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle and nationalist politicians.

Mr Russell-Moyle said the comment was “below” Mr Smith.

And Plaid Cymru leader Liz Saville Roberts said: “Better to set an example for 21st century workplace than pointless presenteeism in crumbling 19th century museum.”

Even comedian Sue Perkins chimed in, saying: “Lazy LEFT? Your boss missed Cobra meetings and went on holiday at the outset of a pandemic.”

The Argus: Comedian Sue Perkins got involved in the Twitter spatComedian Sue Perkins got involved in the Twitter spat

But the strongest criticism came from Hove MP Mr Kyle.

“Henry thinks he’s so great people should risk life just to hear him speak,” he wrote in reply.

“I’m desperate to return to Parliament but don’t put my enthusiasm above the safety of others.”

Clarifying his comments to The Argus, Mr Kyle said: “This isn’t about whether Henry Smith can stand up and make a pompous speech.

“This is about us looking after the wellbeing of MPs and staff. The thing that’s so disgusting about what he said was he shamed them.

“He implied they’re being lazy when all they’re doing is doing the right thing.

The Argus: Mr Kyle said he did not believe it is safe for MPs to return to Parliament yetMr Kyle said he did not believe it is safe for MPs to return to Parliament yet

“The reason for wanting us to return isn’t because this is a Government that invites scrutiny.

“The reason they’re dragging us back is they want baying MPs to stand behind Boris Johnson because he struggles without them.”

Mr Smith did not respond for comment when contacted by The Argus.

But he later said his tweet was “somewhat tongue in cheek”.

“Some MPs are quite happy to be away from Westminster and I don’t think that’s good for our democracy,” he said.

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