MP's book claims Brits are 'lazy'
A CONSERVATIVE MP has defended a controversial new book that claims British workers are among the laziest in the world.
Chris Skidmore is one of five Tories who have co-authored a book which says too many Brits prefer a lie-in to working hard.
The new book, called Britannia Unchained – Global Growth and Prosperity, is due to be published next Thursday but leaked excerpts have already caused a storm.
It says: "Once they enter the workplace, the British are among the worst idlers in the world. We work among the lowest hours, we retire early and our productivity is poor."
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Although Kingswood MP Mr Skidmore did not write the passage himself, he and his four young Parliamentary colleagues have put their names to the whole of the book, which says Britain can learn lessons from the booming economies of China and Brazil.
The MP told the Post: "Clearly this is just a section of a book that has a wider argument.
"But it's important that we can have an open and honest discussion about where we want the British place in the world to be."
Mr Skidmore said it was also necessary to tackle the country's "benefits culture" to compete with the world's powerhouses, and claimed local jobs fairs he had organised in Kingswood showed there were opportunities for unemployed people.
But Kerry McCarthy, Labour MP for Bristol East, was not convinced.
She said: "It's an insult to his constituents, many of whom are working extremely hard and have to hold down more than one job just to make ends meet.
"It just shows how out of touch he is with many of his constituents' lives."
In an article written to preview the book's launch next week, Mr Skidmore says Britain's entrepreneurs need "blood, sweat and tears" if they are to create the next Google or Facebook.
He writes: "Grit and graft are every bit as essential as that first brilliant brainwave."
The book by Mr Skidmore and colleagues Kwasi Kwarteng, Priti Patel, Dominic Raab and Elizabeth Truss is seen as an attempt to seize the intellectual leadership of the Tories for the radical right.