Labour’s newest and youngest MP is set to become the ‘baby’ of the House of Commons after winning a majority in the Selby and Ainsty by-election last night.
Keir Mather graduated from Oxford University only four years ago before landing his first job as a party researcher for Wes Streeting, who is now shadow health secretary.
But the 25-year-old, the first MP to have been born after Tony Blair became Prime Minister, was mocked by Tory minister Johnny Mercer last night as ‘a repeat of The Inbetweeners’.
Mr Mercer said the history and politics graduate had ‘been at Oxford University more than he’s been in a job’ and warned he should not expect a warm welcome from the Conservative benches at Westminster.
He also suggested the Hull-born politician, who had most recently worked as a public affairs adviser at the Confederation of British Industry, was ‘inauthentic’. Mr Mercer claimed he ‘just relays Labour lines’ and has ‘a Labour chip’ in him.
Mr Mather, who shares the same name as current Labour leader Keir Starmer – named after the first Labour Party leader Keir Hardie – studied at Oxford between 2016 and 2019 before spending a year as a researcher for Mr Streeting.
Asked on Sky News whether he was looking forward to a fresh injection of youth into the Commons, Mr Mercer said: ‘It’s always good to get new people in politics.’
But, as he made reference to the cult TV series, he added: ‘We mustn’t become a repeat of The Inbetweeners. You’ve got to have people who have actually done stuff.
‘This guy has been at Oxford University more than he’s been in a job. You put a chip in him and he just relays Labour lines. The problem is people have had enough of that.
‘They want people who are authentic, people who have worked in that constituency, who know what life is like, who understand what life is like to live, work and raise a family in communities like theirs.
‘So, no, I’m afraid I don’t agree with this style of politics. It’s exactly why people like me didn’t vote before the 2015 election.