A TOP Tory minister has sparked fury after he was accused of saying he didn’t want people from Sheffield flying abroad on cheap holidays.
Millionaire Cabinet Office Minister Oliver Letwin is said to have made the outburst during an argument with London mayor Boris Johnson about building new airports.
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Mr Johnson said: “I was absolutely scandalised the other day to hear a government minister tell me he did not want to see more families in Sheffield able to afford cheap holidays.
“Absolutely disgraceful, a bourgeois repression of people’s ability to take a holiday. It’s a matter of social justice.”
The London mayor did not name the minister, but now it has been revealed that Mr Letwin, a former merchant banker who was educated at Eton and Cambridge, was the man involved in the row.
Today, furious Sheffield residents told The Star they were appalled by Mr Letwin’s remarks.
Teacher and mum Emily York, aged 25, from Ecclesall, said: “What kind of world are these Tory ministers living in?
“What is wrong with people wanting to go on cheap holidays, especially in the current climate?
“Why does this southern multi-millionaire assume everyone in Sheffield is working class? This class discrimination is so ignorant.
“If he had ever been here he would know it’s a very diverse place.”
Mum-of-two Ruth Elliott, of Wadsley Bridge, who works as a box office supervisor at the Arena, said: “Isn’t that a typical politician’s thing to say?
“Why shouldn’t people in Sheffield have cheap holidays? I was actually upset that they didn’t make more of Sheffield airport so we could have cheaper flights.
“He should ask us what we want, rather than just casting us into one net, assuming he knows everything about us. If he came to Sheffield he would realise these are some of the nicest people in the world.”
Jack Scott, Labour councillor for Arbourthorne, said: “It may be that multi-millionaire Oliver Letwin thinks people shouldn’t go on cheap holidays, but what his government is doing to the economy means it’s all they can afford.
“This latest gaffe shows how out of touch and arrogant this Tory-led government is. Oliver Letwin owes the people of Sheffield an apology for his insulting comments.”
It is not the first time Mr Letwin, a key policy advisor to PM David Cameron, has been in trouble over his outspoken views on class.
He sparked outrage in 2003 when he said he would rather “go out on the streets and beg” than send his children to an inner-city London comprehensive.
A spokesman for Mr Letwin refused to comment.