MP complains to Cameron over Jordan jibe

Louise Mensch 'hits the roof' over article by Michael Gove's wife
  • @janemerrick23

The outspoken Conservative MP Louise Mensch has lodged a furious complaint with David Cameron after the wife of one of the Prime Minister's most loyal ministers compared her to the surgically enhanced model Jordan.

Mrs Mensch is said to have "hit the roof" over an article in The Times last week by Sarah Vine, a journalist who is married to the Education Secretary, Michael Gove. It is thought she has also complained to Tory party whips about the article.

Ms Vine highlighted Mrs Mensch's decision to be photographed in a glamorous pose for an interview with the upmarket men's magazine GQ in which the Corby MP complained that women politicians were judged on their appearance rather than their political views. It prompted ridicule from fellow MPs and invited unkind associations with other "irritating" MPs (see below).

In her Times article last Wednesday, under the headline "Are you a Jordan or a Mensch?", Ms Vine wrote: "Mensch is 40 but has the face of a 25-year-old. Who knows, she may just have great genes. Or not. Whatever, her look is typical of countless women her age of similar social status and means: a smooth face and clear complexion, pert but modest-sized breasts, a lithe and toned body: pure Made in Chelsea. At the other end of the scale is the TOWIE [The Only Way Is Essex] look, as espoused by Paddy Doherty, Katie Price and any number of orange acolytes."

Ms Vine concluded: "There used to be three classes: upper, middle and working. Now you're either a Jordan, a Mensch or, like me, an unenhanced untermensch." Mrs Mensch was unaware of the withering piece until someone alerted her to it on Twitter. A Downing Street spokeswoman insisted that talks between the Prime Minister and his MPs were private. Mrs Mensch did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

In her interview with GQ, Mrs Mensch said it was sexist to "trivialise a woman politician based on her appearance" and referred to the leopard-print shoes famously worn by the Home Secretary, Theresa May, at the Tory party conference a decade ago.

A plague on all their parties: MPs we love to hate

Diane Abbott

The MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington was already pretty irritating before her ill-advised "white people love playing 'divide and rule'" tweet last Thursday. Sending her son to a private school got people's backs up, and she was a loose cannon on the backbenches before landing a Shadow Cabinet post in 2010.

John and Sally Bercow

OK, Sally Bercow is not an MP, but we're including her because of her amazing appetite for self-publicity. As for Mr Bercow, his habit of interrupting David Cameron and Ed Miliband at PMQs is becoming increasingly annoying.

Keith Vaz

It might be his permanently smug expression, or it might be his habit of popping up on the TV pontificating about something vaguely related to his chairmanship of the Home Affairs Select Committee. Whatever it is, given his not very glorious history with the Hinduja affair a decade ago, his present role does grate a little bit.

Danny Alexander

Maybe it's because he used to be press officer for the Cairngorms National Park, and is now in charge of the Government's cuts programme, that we find him annoying. He certainly irritates vast swathes of Lib Dems who were furious that when he appeared on BBC2's Newsnight recently he gave the impression he was committing the party to Tory cuts after the next election. We found Harriet Harman's description of him as a "ginger rodent" close to the mark, but his mild-mannered response to the jibe exposed him to ridicule.

Grant Shapps

The housing minister loves to court the media, and makes much of sleeping rough at Christmas – of all the times of year to make us feel guilty. He's tipped for a future cabinet post, but his political career suffered a setback in 2007 when he ran an over-confident by-election campaign for the Tories in Ealing Southall, with the slogan "Cameron's Conservatives". Unfortunately, young Grant does occasionally let his confidence spill over into arrogance.

Nadine Dorries

A former nurse, as she is always quick to mention in the Commons, she attracts, and appears to chase, headlines. Boasts that her blog is "70 per cent fiction" and has done her best to live up to her "Mad Nad" and "Doris Nadir" nicknames.

Rory Stewart

Spent his gap year in the Black Watch, became a diplomat, ran two provinces in Iraq after the 2003 invasion, and walked 6,000 miles across Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan, India and Nepal. Inevitably, the 39-year-old became "one to watch" when he was elected Tory MP for Penrith and the Borders in 2010. Shot himself in the foot describing his constituency thus: "Some areas around here are pretty primitive, people holding up their trousers with bits of twine." Reports that Brad Pitt has bought the rights to make a film of his life do little to dent the impression he believes his own hype. But he's not perfect: apparently his Serbo-Croat, Urdu and Nepali are a bit "rusty".

Sarah Teather

With the demeanour of a disappointed supply teacher, the Lib Dem education minister never seems happy. Her stand-up routine at the Lib Dem conference brought howls of laughter for all the wrong reasons. Cheer up, Sarah: it may all be over at the next election.

Dennis Skinner

Labour's Beast of Bolsover spends most of his time in the Commons trying to annoy David Cameron by mimicking the PM's annoying hand signals, annoying the rest of us in the process. Almost 80, he can still hit the mark, notably calling the PM a "plonker", attacking dodgy donors, and suggesting Chris Huhne drive Rupert Murdoch to the airport as a "final humiliation".

Zac Goldsmith

Too good-looking by half, and he knows it. The dashing 36-year-old seems to think not wearing a tie and flashing his perfect smile excuses having to toe the party line. But he failed to charm a parliamentary committee when he criticised certain newspapers by likening them to Auschwitz, and saying that it too "created jobs".