Father of the House Sir Peter Bottomley has defended calling MPs’ £82,000 salaries ‘grim’ and ‘desperately difficult’ to live on – as a senior Government source slammed the Tory MP for being ‘totally out of touch with reality’

Father of the House Sir Peter Bottomley has defended calling MPs’ £82,000 salaries ‘grim’ and ‘desperately difficult’ to live on – as a senior Government source slammed the Tory MP for being ‘totally out of touch with reality’.

The Conservative politician said hiking wages to £110,000 would attract ‘good’ candidates into the job, because doctors and other highly qualified professionals earn more and have to take a pay cut to enter parliament.

He previously said he was not sure how MPs ‘managed’ on their current salary – despite it being around £50,000-a-year higher than the UK average.

The Worthing West representative, whose wife  is a Tory peer and former minister, was slapped down by a senior Government source today.

They told MailOnline: ‘Maybe he should become an HGV driver.

MPs do an important job and are suitably paid for doing so. To suggest they’re not paid enough is totally out of touch with reality and does not reflect Conservative views or values.’

The 77-year-old, who holds the title of ‘Father of the House of Commons’ as the current longest serving MP, today defended the comments he made in an interview with the .

Sir Peter sparked outrage when his interview came out just as the £20 Universal Credit uplift was scrapped.

The MP told radio station LBC he was not told when his comments would be published.     

He said those who make money as ‘a good teacher, a good social worker or a good trade union official’ would be ‘significantly worse off’ if they went into politics. 

Raising pay, he continued to argue, would therefore ‘attract into the field of competition good people, not just those who are prepared to do it for http://transpower.cc/ nothing, not just those who can afford to do it for nothing, but the people in between’.  

Tory stalwart Sir Peter Bottomley  (pictured) says he is not sure how MPs ‘manage’ on the current salary – which is around £50,000-a-year higher than the UK average 

The 77-year-old, who holds the title of ‘Father of the House of Commons’ as the current longest serving MP, today defended the comments he made in an interview with the New Statesmen. Pictured, MPs inside the House of Commons

Defending his comments today, Sir Peter told LBC: ‘In a debate in the House of Commons in 1977 Enoch Powell interrupted me, but I was making the point that you could have a Parliament full of church mice and you could have a Parliament full of independently wealthy, but what about the people in the middle?

‘What about the person who’s deputy head of a large, comprehensive school?

What about the person who has been a Royal Naval captain? What about the person who may be your solicitor, your accountant?’

‘The real point is, do you want to say that the deputy general secretary of the College of Nursing should be able to come to Parliament without a major sacrifice?

Should your GP switch to Parliament, without a major sacrifice?

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One Response to Father of the House Sir Peter Bottomley has defended calling MPs’ £82,000 salaries ‘grim’ and ‘desperately difficult’ to live on – as a senior Government source slammed the Tory MP for being ‘totally out of touch with reality’

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