Twitter row government minister Grant Shapps visits Carnforth

Government minister Grant Shapps visited Carnforth today.
Government minister Grant Shapps visited Carnforth today.

Conservative government minister Grant Shapps visited Carnforth today in the midst of a Twitter storm – and said he might pop into Gala Bingo and have a pint while he was here.

Tory chairman Mr Shapps made the news this week for retweeting a picture which said the new budget would allow “hard-working people” to enjoy beer and bingo.

And he defended his actions by saying the uproar was as a result of “a cheap trick” by Labour MPs.

He said: “This is a massive diversion by the opposition and a pathetic attack. They are playing tricks with the wording of a tweet.

“I am just as likely to have a pint as the next person.

“This is about protecting a community from having its pubs close, and when it comes to bingo halls, three quarters of them have closed.

“The budget was halving the tax on them and I imagine it’s been warmly welcomed by the three million people who play bingo every week.”

When asked if he might find the time to drop into Gala Bingo in Morecambe duiring his visit, Mr Shapps joked: “I might well do that – and with a pint of beer as well.”

The comments came as the minister visited family business Havwood’s on the new Carnforth Business Park to speak to staff and thank the owners for contributing to the local economy and creating jobs in the area.

Havwood’s supply flooring to the public and to businesses including worldwide chains such as Starbucks and Pret a Manger.

The firm employs 56 people, including at a new branch in Australia.

All of their flooring is exported around the world from Carnforth.

Morecambe and Lunesdale MP David Morris said: “It’s great news that Grant would like to thank a small business like Havwood’s; the small and medium sized businesses here in Morecambe and Lunesdale are so important to the economy.”