Politics

Grant Shapps gets haunted by ‘Elf on the Shelf’ in ‘patronising’ energy-saving tips video

Grant Shapps battles Elf on the Shelf in bizarre government skit on energy crisis

Grant Shapps

Grant Shapps, now the secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy, has once again taken to embarrassing himself in another cringeworthy promotional video on behalf of the UK Government – and we wish he would stop.

The former transport secretary has previously donned sunglasses to advertise the Great British Rail Sale, been bothered by unnecessary rail announcements and “driven a train” in outlandish attempts to have us actually care about government policy.

Not only that, but when he decided to enter the Tory leadership race back in the summer, he decided just 13 seconds was enough time to get his message across.

Now, Mr Shapps is getting into the festive spirit by deciding to be a muppet at Christmas (sorry, Kermit) and share a video whereby he’s being haunted by ‘Elf on a Shelf’ while trying to give us some energy-saving tips.

Yes, really – not condescending at all.

In the accompanying caption, Mr Shapps wrote: “I’m doing my best to lower my energy bills while still keeping warm. Unfortunately, my Elf on the Shelf has other ideas…”

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The clip, just over a minute long, sees the Welwyn Hatfield MP walk into a room with the lights on (which he “definitely” turned off earlier) and the microwave plugged in (which he unplugged).

Looking up, Mr Shapps clocks the miniature elf, giggling away and clearly being responsible for the irresponsible waste of energy around the house – having also messed with the boiler and moved the draft excluder.

“You again,” the Tory MP says to the elf, watching on from the stairway, before deciding he’s had “enough of this” and proceeds to lob the toy out the front door.

“This winter, there are a number of different things we can do to lower our bills and keep our homes warmer, like switching off appliances at the wall, reducing the boiler flow temperature and using low-cost draught protection.

“It really does all add up,” he adds.


Except Twitter users have been quick to point out the awkward optics, with one writing: “Imagine making a joke out of others who are unable to heat their homes, while you yourself stick expenses on a taxpayer-funded tab. Imagine.”

“Those are useful tips when you can afford to even turn the heating on. I’ve moved onto wearing gloves and hat indoors, doing star jumps and running up and down the stairs, and spending longer in bed. Just imagine if the government had run a serious home insulation programme,” noted another.

A third, commenting on Mr Shapps’ appearance on BBC Breakfast this morning, argued that instead of following all his energy-saving tips, people could “alternatively get a job that pays £12,637 a month like Grant has”.

Many others have considered it “patronising”, too.

And all of this comes just days after Mr Shapps got quizzed by the Business Committee on growth, which included a “brilliant” takedown from committee chair Darren Jones MP.

“I don’t know why this local consent principle is so difficult for the right honourable gentleman opposite to understand.”It is a simple and fundamental principle that the government derives its democratic legitimacy from the people. The future of the country must not be decided by plotting and U-turns at Westminster; it must be decided by the people in a general election. And for this reason The Independent is calling for an election to be held. Have your say and sign our election petition by clicking here.

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