Dehenna Davison, who represents Bishop Auckland – a constituency that includes the market town – was appearing virtually in the Commons during Cabinet Office questions when eagle-eyed viewers spotted the optician-style hanging behind her.
Boris Johnson’s former senior aide found himself in the focus of a media storm last year after driving his family to County Durham during the first coronavirus lockdown before taking a trip to Barnard Castle to test his eyesight. Fresh questions were raised about the trip during his mammoth seven hour appearance in front of MPs yesterday.
Barnard Castle has been used as a classic political meme ever since and, if Davison’s actions are anything to go by, it looks like the joke isn’t going away any time soon.
Twitter, predictably, reacted with glee:
But some people didn’t see the funny side and pointed to the 128,000 Covid deaths in UK.
Others also cast their minds back to last year, when Davison did not call for Cummings to resign.
In a joint statement with fellow Tory MPs Richard Holden, Paul Howell, the three said “none of us would have made the decisions he made – particularly over the visit to Barnard Castle,” and described how the scandal was “creating a major distraction” from efforts to battle the pandemic.
It’s not the first time that Davison has joked about the Barnard Castle scandal.
Last week on Twitter, she shared an image of herself at her favourite restaurant at Barnard Castle and added: “Yes, there’s more to see here than just Specsavers!”
As we said then, it’s highly possible that the joke is an attempt to discredit Cummings while he attacks the government.
But still. What a joker, eh?