Spending Review Sketch: Clive Lewis ordered to do yoga and Chairman Mao makes rare appearance

PUBLISHED: 16:08 25 November 2015 | UPDATED: 16:58 25 November 2015

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell offers a copy of Chairman Mao's Little Red Book (on table) to Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne. Photo: PA Wire

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell offers a copy of Chairman Mao's Little Red Book (on table) to Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne. Photo: PA Wire

It felt like groundhog day as the Chancellor got to his feet.

The usual utterances of storm clouds and fixing the roof while the sun is shining set the scene, yet the cast for the 2015 spending review was very different to the one of previous years.

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell earnestly took notes throughout with an icy stare. A contrast from his predecessor Ed Balls who would go a deeper shade of pink as the statement went on.

He left the heckling to newbie Norwich South MP Clive Lewis whose expression was a mixture of amusement and shame as the speaker singled him out for admonishment after he got rather animated. Take up yoga, John Bercow suggested to cackles from both sides.

For the Tories, whose gloom in the run up to the big day had been palpable, it was better than they imagined.

An apparent tax credit u-turn was met with cheers and declarations of police funding protection received with unbridled joy.

Former Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg, who previously was invited to the budget party, did not even get a seat this time, relegated to the floor among the plentiful Scottish nationalists.

Wannabe Prime Minister Mr Osborne appeared to have secured the support of the backbenchers, but Mr McDonnell delivered a reality check.

It is an iron law for chancellors, he warned, that the louder the cheer the greater the disappointment - before brandishing a copy of Chairman Mao Tse-tung’s Little Red Book,

Time will tell where the disappointment will be.

Related articles


  • Delia loves him,but Clive loves him better.

    Report this comment


    Wednesday, November 25, 2015

  • What a shame the camera didn't pan round to Lewis. A long overdue reality slap methinks.....

    Report this comment


    Wednesday, November 25, 2015

  • Oh dear, what a trap John McDonnell has set for himself which will be exploited at every opportunity by the Tories. The annual budget report is often referred to as the Red Book. Everytime Mr McDonnell refers to the Red Book, he will be reminded of today's faux pas. Mind you, after the Oldham By Election he and Jeremy might well be out of a job if ukip takes the seat.

    Report this comment


    Wednesday, November 25, 2015

  • Enough said! - 'Mr Lewis' is representing the citizens of this fine city.....Following Delia's outburst of a few years ago, do we now get car stickers 'Let's be 'avin you..... on the yoga mat, Clive!' How to promote this fine city indeed - "Get a grip of yourself man"!!

    Report this comment


    Wednesday, November 25, 2015

  • Clive Lewis getting a slapped wrist! tut tut, grow up little boy!

    Report this comment


    Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

More news stories

38 minutes ago

An exhibition to uncover a link between the town of March and a wartime Polish submarine opens this weekend.


A group that supports adults with learning disabilities has opened in Wisbech to offer a range of classes like art, gardening, cooking, sign language, pottery and life skills.


A political leaflet has been delivered to people in Fenland despite a suspension on General Election campaigning following the Manchester bombing.


March Lions are revving up for the town’s Summer Festival’s first ever Soap Box Derby.

Most read stories

Most commented stories


Show Job Lists


Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Read the Cambs Times e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter