Tory Bingo: Grant Shapps brings the house down as bingo and beer tweet to back Budget backfires

Tory party chairman tweets poster that says Chancellor's decision would help 'hardworking people do more of the things they enjoy'

An attempt by Conservative party chairman Grant Shapps to celebrate cuts in tax on beer and bingo to help “hardworking people do more of the things they enjoy” has sparked a backlash.

Mr Shapps tweeted a poster with that message under the headline “ Bingo!” written in colourful bubbles, urging people to “spread the word”.

However it sparked a series of parodies, while Labour tweeted “ Dear Tories - what else do you think ‘they’ do that you don't?” followed by “Out. Of. Touch”.

Simon Blackwell, scriptwriter on the satirical comedy The Thick Of It, tweeted: “Genuinely, if that Conservative beer and bingo ad had come up at a Thick Of It script meeting we’d have rejected it as being too far-fetched.”

Read more: The Independent's Budget coverage in full

Another Twitter user, ‏@loveandgarbage, replied to Mr Shapps to say: “Do you remember the pasties @grantshapps? And the news programmes asking the people when they last had pasties?”

The hashtag, Torybingo, was trending on Twitter and was the only budget-related hashtag on the site at about 10pm. It quickly developed a life of its own with people tweeting bingo callers number-rhymes to make their point.

They included: “Bank off-shore? 44”; “Rickety hips that you can't get fixed - 66”; “No time to skive it's (p)45”; “Closed your local A&E, number 23” and “77, let's frack Devon”.

Conservative party chairman Grant Shapps (Getty) Conservative party chairman Grant Shapps (Getty)
One of the parodies reproduced Mr Shapps’ poster, complete with the Bingo! heading.

However the message was altered to say: “I say, you there! How is your whippet? Jolly Good, Jolly Good. Carry on.”

George Osborne's Liberal Democrat deputy in the Treasury said he thought Mr Shapps’ tweet was “patronising”.

Treasury Chief Secretary Danny Alexander said: “I thought it was a spoof at first, it's just pretty extraordinary.”

He told BBC2's Newsnight: “It may be our Budget but it's their words, I think it's rather patronising. Also I think it actually demeans some quite sensible things.

“There are good reasons to be supporting bingo, there are good reasons to be encouraging our pub sector to be stronger - that's the analysis behind those measures.

“This language, well that's for Grant Shapps to justify.”

On Thursday morning,  a Tory source told The Spectator: "there never was a poster or digital campaign, it was only intended as an infographic. We’re not going to apologise for cutting bingo tax and beer duty. It’s a desperate attempt by Labour to deflect attention."

Bookmaker Ladbrokes was offering 10/1 that Mr Shapps would be soon seen playing bingo with a pint, ITV News reported.

Sport
A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
football

Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

Voices
voicesApple continually kill off smaller app developers, and that's no good for anyone
Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
voicesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
tv

Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

Life and Style
life

News
ScienceGallery: Otherwise known as 'the best damn photos of space you'll see till 2015'
Travel
travelWhy Japan's love hotels are thriving through an economic downturn
Life and Style
fashion

Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour

Life and Style
Alexander McQueen A/W 2014
fashionPolitics aside, tartan is on-trend again this season
Arts and Entertainment
Rapper Jay Z performs on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury in 2008
musicSinger sued over use of the single-syllable sample in 'Run This Town'
Sport
Joel jumps over the board...and into a giant hole
footballFrom joy to despair in a matter of seconds
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC
tv

Much-loved cartoon character returns - without Sir David Jason

Arts and Entertainment
Meera Syal was a member of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me
tv

Actress to appear in second series of the hugely popular crime drama

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Volunteer your expertise as Trustee for The Society of Experimental Biology

Unpaid Voluntary Position : Reach Volunteering: Promising volunteer Trustee op...

Email Designer

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

Psychology Teacher

£110 - £130 per hour: Randstad Education Reading: Psychology Teacher needed fo...

Food Technology Teacher

£85 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: Randstad Education are curren...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week