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Budget Conservative Party Grant Shapps

‘I love a game of bingo’ – Grant Shapps defends bingo and beer poster after Twitter storm

By Angela Haggerty, Reporter

March 22, 2014 | 2 min read

Conservative party chairman Grant Shapps has insisted he loves bingo and drinks beer after he faced a storm of criticism over a poster he tweeted following the UK budget this week.

Controversy: Shapps was criticised after his tweet

Chancellor George Osborne gave the bingo industry a tax cut and took a penny off beer duty in the budget, prompting Shapps to tweet a poster reading ‘Bingo! Cutting the bingo tax and been duty – to help hard working people do more of the things they enjoy’.

Shapps encouraged followers to retweet him and spread the word – which they did, kicking off a storm in which users accused him of being condescending. He also faced criticism for using the term ‘they’.

In response to the furore, Shapps was quoted in the Guardian on Friday as saying: “We can all argue about whether the word should be ‘they’ or ‘us’ or whatever.

“Personally, I drink beer and I love a game of bingo so I can’t see why on earth they think this is more important than talking the long-term economic future of our country, supporting actual sectors like bingo or the local pubs.”

The budget was welcomed by industry leaders such as Gala Bingo and Heineken UK.

Budget Conservative Party Grant Shapps

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