The Conservative MP Tracey Crouch was invited to make the so-called ‘loyal address’, a parliamentary procedure used to formally open the debate on the Queen’s Speech. During her submissions to the Commons, Ms Crouch jokingly referred to a number of A Christmas Carol characters, comparing them (with various degrees of favourability) to past and former politicians. Both the ex-Chancellor Philip Hammond and former Speaker John Bercow were compared to Dickens’ Mr Scrooge, while the PM himself was likened to the Ghost of Christmas Present, all to much hilarity.
The chuckles on the opposition benches quickly subsided, however, when the outgoing Labour leader was compared to Jacob Marley, the chained and tormented ghost of Scrooge’s late business partner. Jeremy Corbyn sat stony-faced as the light-hearted literary allusion was made, up until the point when some wily (presumably Conservative) MP shouted ‘smile Jeremy, it won’t kill you’.