Newbury’s MP Richard Benyon faced jibes at his interests outside of parliament from opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn during the opening of the debate into the Queen’s speech earlier this week.
Mr Benyon had been chosen to propose the debate – regarded as an honour given to a backbench MP each year – on Wednesday.
In his speech he spoke of the need for the country to be more united and to focus on the impact of Brexit rather than the politics, as well as jokingly referring to himself as a “working class hero”.
He also made mention of Mr Corbyn, saying: “The Newbury constituency is no stranger to controversy. Greenham Common and the Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston have made it a regular tourist destination for the leader of the opposition, among others.
“He will be pleased that one particular sword has been beaten into a ploughshare: the runway at the now decommissioned Greenham Common airbase was taken up and crushed to form Newbury’s new and infamous bypass.”
In response, Mr Corbyn said his mother was one of those protesting at Greenham Common, and while she was there he did go and visit her.
He then turned his attention to Mr Benyon’s external interests, saying: “I would like to thank the right honourable gentleman for taking time out from his considerable responsibilities – looking after his extensive property portfolio and tending to his directorship of UK Water Partnership.
“I hope a Labour Government may soon be able to come to the aid of his Newbury constituents by taking water back into public ownership, and to the aid of his tenants by ensuring there is a responsibility on landlords to ensure that all homes are fit for human habitation.”
The debate into the Queen’s speech is scheduled to conclude next Thursday, lasting six days in total.