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A Conservative MP has been accused of “hypocrisy” after criticising a member of Labour’s shadow cabinet for wearing a “Never Kissed A Tory” T-shirt and creating an “us vs them” dynamic.

Sara Britcliffe, the MP for Hyndburn and Haslingden in Lancashire, slammed what she considered to be “quite disgusting” behaviour from shadow culture secretary Lucy Powell on Saturday - when the Labour MP donned the red shirt for Manchester Pride.

“And this is the problem: creating an us vs them. Quite disgusting from a shadow minister.

“A difference of political belief should not result in hate,” she tweeted.

It isn’t the first time a Labour politician has faced a backlash over whether they’d be friendly with someone from the other end of the political spectrum.

In 2017, the former North West Durham MP Laura Pidcock told the left-wing blog Skwawkbox she had “absolutely no intention” of being friends with a Tory.

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She said: “Whatever type they are, I have absolutely no intention of being friends with any of them.

“I feel disgusted with the way they’re running the country, it’s visceral – ,’ not interested in being cosy.”

Like Ms Powell, she too received criticism from Tory MPs for the stance, with now-culture secretary Nadine Dorries accusing her of having a “hands over the ears juvenile attitude”.

In this instance, however, Twitter users soon pointed out to Ms Britcliffe that her party has leaned into a bit of “us vs them” as well:

Others noted that when it comes to “disgusting” T-shirts, Ms Britcliffe can’t really talk given she was branded “childish” for wearing one with her Labour predecessor’s face on it over Christmas in 2019:

Ousted politician Graham Jones said the action was “unbefitting of an MP”, while Ms Britcliffe said she had apologised to him and there was “no mocking” involved.

“It was a Secret Santa present and in fact mocked me,” she claimed in a statement at the time.

While Ms Powell has not responded to Ms Britcliffe’s remarks, she did reply to education secretary James Cleverly, who told her to “keep asking nicely” as “I’m sure one will say yes eventually”.

“Oh James, I thought you’d never ask,” she said, with a wink emoji to boot.

Ouch.

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