MPeas in a pod? Labour politicians mixed up by BBC in Parliament broadcast

A shared passion for politics isn’t the only thing these two MPs have in common...

Thursday, 23rd January 2020, 5:00 pm
Cat Smith and Holly Lynch

If you think Fleetwood and Lancaster MP Cat Smith bears a striking resemblance to her Labour colleague, Halifax MP Holly Lynch, you’re not the only one!

The two were mixed up by the BBC during its coverage of Wednesday’s Prime Minister’s Questions.

Ms Lynch was mistaken for Ms Smith when quizzing PM Boris Johnson in Parliament.

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'Cat Smith'... or is it?

Luckily, Ms Smith saw the funny side. Posting a picture of herself with her political ‘twin’, she said: “Separated at birth?”

But she added: “Holly Lynch asked an excellent question at Prime Ministers Questions today, pity the BBC didn’t give her the credit.”

Ironically, Holly Lynch’s question in the House related just as much to Cat Smith’s constituents as it concerned rail services across the North of England.

She told the House of Commons: “Rail users across the North... are suffering every week because of the Government’s failure to invest in rail infrastructure over the past decade.

“The North now needs both HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail to make a real start in tackling the north-south divide.”

She called on the Prime Minister to commit to publishing the Oakervee report, which looks at HS2, a planned high-speed railway approved by Parliament in 2017, and asked him to deliver a rail service that is ‘fit for purpose’ in the North.

Mr Johnson said: “We are already investing a record £48bn in rail services, excluding HS2. It is right that we should look at the value this country could get from a scheme as castly as HS2, with estimates now rising to £100bn.”

He promised the House that the Oakervee report would be published ‘in due course’.

Following the mix-up, Cat Smith told The Gazette: "This isn’t the first time Holly and I have been muddled up, either by members of the press gallery or by other members of Parliament so it wasn’t totally surprising to see the BBC’s honest mistake.

"She raised a good question and I too share her concerns about the unreliability or our rail service and poor management of the Northern franchise.

"Holly is a fantastic northern woman MP for Halifax so I’m not at all offended by the mix-up and we have had a good giggle about it when we realised what had happened. It just so happens she’s as passionate about the white rose county as I am about the Red Rose county."