Tory minister under fire after recommending £170 bottle of champagne to ward off Covid blues

Portrait of Christopher Pincher

Tamworth MP Christopher Pincher - Credit: Richard Townshend Photography

A Tory housing minister has come under fire after he suggested Britons purchase a £170 bottle of champagne to ward off the Covid blues.

Labour branded Christopher Pincher as "truly out of touch" after he recommended people see off a "rotten" 2020 with a lavish bottle of bubbly, despite more than half a million Britons living in rent arrears and in temporary accommodation.

In a column for the magazine The Critic, Pincher said buyers should ditch the classic favourite Dom Perignon in favour of the "cheaper (though not by much)" bottle of Krug Grand Cru Cuvée, which, at £170, he described as tasting like a "tart satsuma" that is "ideal for lifting the spirit and lighting up a darkening winter afternoon".

He added: "So, if you have the chance, or the wherewithal to buy a bottle, these bubbles will brighten your family bubble and provide an alternative vaccine until the real thing provides more permanent inoculation against the memory of last year."

Labour's Mike Amesbury slammed the Tory MP and suggested he focus instead on his day job, The Mirror reported.

The shadow housing and planning minister said: "With every dot and comma of this column, Chris Pincher has shown how truly out of touch and breathtakingly arrogant he is.

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"While leaseholders were having sleepless nights about how they would find thousands of pounds to make their flats safe from dangerous cladding and more than half a million in rent arrears or temporary accommodation struggling to make ends, the housing minister was recommending they buy bottles of champagne costing £170.

"Chris Pincher should be fixing the massive problems facing leaseholders and those in desperate need of good quality, affordable and truly sustainable housing, not writing articles about luxury wines."

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"In the 'you couldn't make it up' category. Not just a Tory minister, but the _housing_ minister," said Green's peer Natalie Bennett.

Pincher has previously been paid up to £1200 to write for The Critic.

A spokesman for Pincher declined to comment.

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