A Conservative MP has been accused of being ‘crass’ after he shared a message that made light of austerity on Twitter.
Jacob Young, the MP for Redcar in Yorkshire, posted a before-and-after shot of himself following a visit to the hairdresser.
Accompanying the photo, shared on the his Twitter account, he wrote: ‘More Tory cuts… before and after shots.’
He then went on to describe that it was now safe to visit salons and other non-essential businesses.
But rather than finding people laughing along at the joke, Twitter users slammed Young for the comments, which have now been deleted.
Middlesbrough’s Labour MP Andy McDonald said: ‘People will be deeply offended by this distasteful tweet. I’m not surprised Jacob Young has taken it down.
‘It was a crass and insensitive comment and far from being funny for thousands of people in Redcar and across the Tees Valley who have suffered as a direct result of the political choice of his Tory party to impose austerity.
‘Sadly it reveals the contempt that Tories really have for the very people they were elected to serve.’
It is estimated councils across Teeside saw their budgets shrink by as much as 60p in the pound as a result of the government’s austerity measures, leading to jobs cuts and a drop in the number of police officers and firefighters.
Former Labour Redcar councillor Sue Jeffrey said: ‘I do wonder just how low these people will sink.
‘Did he really think it is okay to joke about Tory austerity policies that have ruined so many lives and left our NHS and care services so ill equipped to deal with the Covid-19 crisis?’
Young has since apologised. He told The Northern Echo that he had ‘tried to make light’ of the first haircut he had had in three months.
‘Sadly a small number of people took offence at what was clearly intended as a joke,’ he remarked.
Young is one of the nation’s youngest MPs and was 26 years old when he was elected as a parliamentarian during the 2019 general election, unseating Labour MP Anna Turley who previously held a large majority.