Johnny Mercer has likened the new Labor MP for Selby and Ainsty to a “middle ground” as he made a joke about his age.
Keir Mather, 25, became the “baby of the house”, the youngest member of the House of Commons, overnight when Labor won a historic victory on the Yorkshire seat.
The party overturned the largest majority in its history in a by-election, winning by more than 4,000 votes. The Tories won Selby and Ainsty with a majority of 20,137 at the last general election.
Mercer mocked Mather about his age during an interview with Sky News to discuss Thursday’s results, which saw the Conservatives also lose Somerton and Frome but retain Boris Johnson’s old Uxbridge and South Ruislip seat.
The veterans affairs minister said: “I think it’s always good to bring new people into politics. I think we shouldn’t become some kind of repeat of The Inbetweeners, right?
We need ‘people who have actually done things’
Asked what he meant by that, he replied: “You have to have people who have actually done things. This guy, you know, has been at Oxford University longer than he’s been at a job.
“You put a chip in there, and it just relates the lines of work. And the problem is, people have had enough of that, right? 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. That’s exactly why people like me didn’t vote in the 2015 general election.”