By Ian Dunt
The colourful clash between David Cameron and Chris Bryant continued today, when the shadow immigration secretary said the prime minister was acting like an "agitated fifteenth century pope".
The comments come after the PM refused to answer a question from Bryant during PMQs yesterday. The prime minister cited the Labour MP's mistaken assertion earlier this year that Cameron had underreported his meetings with Rupert Murdoch.
"Until he apologises, I'm not going to answer his questions," Cameron said yesterday, to huge cheers from his own benches.
Writing his column for the Independent today, Bryant commented: "Some call it Flashman. It reminds me more of the girl in the old Clarks ad who said 'my mother tells me that when I grow up I'm going to be a proper little madam'.
"Cameron point blank refused to answer my question and declared, like an angry and agitated fifteenth century pope, that he will not deign to answer any questions from me until I have apologised for what I said about him."
Bryant insists he already apologised to parliament for his mistake in May and that Cameron is now using the sleight to justify evading his questions.
On June 25th Cameron refused to answer a question from Bryant, but two days later he did respond to a query about an arms treaty. In September he answered another question from Bryant about female redundancies.
"I can only conclude that it was the nature of today’s question that really wound him up and he knew that he had no better answer than to obfuscate," Bryant wrote.
"I could of course get all hoity toity back with him. But the truth is that he has proved not just that he's a bit of a bully, but that he’s hiding something."
Bryant's question demanded the release of all communication between Cameron and Rebekah Brooks, previous chief executive of News International and a personal friend of the prime minister.
Media reports suggest the entirety of their correspondence has not yet been released to the Leveson inquiry.
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By Ian Dunt