Chris Skidmore, MP for Kingswood in South Gloucestershire, will attend a Cabinet meeting for the first time today, after it emerged he was part of a controversial university band almost 20 years ago. Mr Skidmore, 38, said he was “honoured” to be the temporary replacement for Energy minister Claire Perry, who is taking a leave of absence to look after an ill relative. The Universities minister was a member of a Oxford University “joke band” which wrote controversial lyrics.
Lyrics by the ‘Bob Nylon and the Elastic Band’ included “woman are cr*p”, “I wanna be fellated in public” and “God hates puffs”, the Mirror Online revealed in 2017.
Mr Skidmore, who graduated from the prestigious institution with a double first in History, said the songs performed were as “part of a joke band” and he “wholeheartedly apologised for any offence caused”.
In another instance, in the song titled ‘Bed’, it appeared to urge women to sleep with men “especially if you’re attractive and free and tested negative for VD”.
The same comedy song also used the 9/11 terror attacks in New York as a punchline.
The lyrics said: “My bed never ordered missile attack. My bed didn’t fly a plane into a tower.”
Reflecting on the songs in 2017, Mr Skidmore said he regrets his actions and wished he had never taken part.
He said: “These so called songs were performed around 16 years ago when I was part of a joke band that thought it was being funny and ironic. In fact, we were a hopelessly immature bunch of 19 and 20 year old kids.
“I deeply regret now playing on these cringeworthy recordings and I wish I had never done so.
“Unfortunately, I cannot turn back the clock and undo what has happened when I was at university and I wholeheartedly apologise for any offence caused.
“I certainly do not believe any of the joke lyrics and I absolutely renounce them now.
“I hope that this is a lesson for anyone that stupid student antics that seemed funny at the time will come back to haunt you.”
Downing Street confirmed Mr Skidmore, who has enjoyed a successful political career, will provide cover in the Energy and Education departments.
Mr Skidmore who served as one of George Osborne’s top aides when he was Chancellor in 2015, will provide “temporary ministerial cover for the energy and clean growth portfolio.”
Number 10 added: “He will attend Cabinet.
“During this period of cover, Chris Skidmore will retain ministerial responsibility for higher education reform, within the Department for Education, as well as aspects of his responsibilities for science, research and innovation at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.”