Dot Commons Diary: A Labour frontbencher's tragedy

Posted On: 
6th April 2017

"My aspiration to die before understanding the structure of the EU budget has been frustrated."

Lord Tunnicliffe in the House of Lords
Credit: 
Parliament TV

Sympathy for members of the House of Lords is usually in short supply.

But life on the red benches can be hard, as Labour’s Lord Tunnicliffe laid bare when he summed up for the Opposition frontbench in a debate on Brexit and the EU budget today. 

“Last weekend I was in the pub relaxing with my neighbour and he said ‘how is life?’," Tunnicliffe recounted. 

"I said ‘well, my aspiration to die before understanding the structure of the EU budget has been somewhat frustrated by my nomination to this role today’.”

In answer to Tunnicliffe's plight, Tory peer Lord Young offered the traditional advice that a problem shared is a problem halved. 

“When he returns to the pub and resumes the dialogue with his drinking friend I hope he will share with him his deep insight into the mechanics of the EU budget and I’m sure he’ll be fascinated to learn even more about it.”

Optimism reigns still...