A FORMER Southampton MP has been criticised for calling Parliament’s waiters “servants”.

Tory Christopher Chope used the description during a speech in the House of Commons. It came as the 65-year-old former barrister, who is now the MP for Christchurch in Dorset, was making a plea for prices in the exclusive restaurants to be cut for politicians.

He said: “The service was absolutely fantastic because there were three servants for each person sitting down.”

Opposition Labour MPs immediately seized on his wording, asking if that is what he had meant to say.

Mr Chope replied: “Exactly”, later insisting he had meant that everyone working in Parliament is a servant of the House of Commons, and that he was “complimenting” the waiters.

He represented Southampton Itchen until 1992.