27/12/2014 - When a box of chocolates isn't well received

qualitystreetMany of us probably received a box of chocolates as a Christmas gift. Usually, it's a pretty safe bet that it will be welcome. Not for Tory Fire Minister Penny Mordaunt! She gave firefighters in her constituency a box of chocolates over Xmas. Ms Mordaunt personally delivered the tub of Quality Street to Cosham fire station.

The sweets were accompanied by a card reading: “To everyone working over the Christmas period, wishing you peace at Christmas, Thank you! Penny Mordaunt and the Portsmouth Conservatives.”

The gift was not well received. In an angry Facebook post, the local Fire Brigades Union (FBU) branch said that it would reject the gift.

“We are going to give them to the people struggling with these austerity cuts the most by taking them to her local foodbank, so that we can make a happier Christmas for those that really need a bit of good will.”

A bit "bah humbug" of the firefighters? No, not really. Mordaunt has presided over a pensions package that will force firefighters to work an extra five years, retiring at 60 instead of 55. Workers will also have to pay more into their pension pots.

Sometimes a box of chocolates just isn't enough!