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Derby North MP Chris Williamson threatened to whip a fellow MP to see if it hurts during a two-hour debate on racehorse protection in Parliament.

Philip Davies, Conservative MP for Shipley, spoke during the debate on setting up a new independent body for the protection of racehorses, in Westminster Hall.

He said: ” I encourage people to get hold of a whip and hit themselves with it quite hard. They will find it does not actually hurt at all. Whips are not used for that purpose. If someone wants a horse to run faster, they do not hurt it.”

But Mr Williamson took exception to the remarks and challenged Mr Davies by saying: “The hon member for Shipley suggested rather absurdly that the whip does not hurt.

“Let me put a challenge to him: give me the whip, go stand somewhere and let me hit you with it and see if I can hurt you. He will probably find that I could hurt him.”

Not wishing to let the challenge go, Mr Davies responded by saying that Mr Williamson had “clearly never come across the new design of the whip in horse-racing – the whip is cushioned”.



Houses of Parliament where the debate took place

Mr Davies was opposed to a new body being set up, while Mr Williamson concluded during the debate that he was in support of it and said it was “long overdue”.

The spat between the two continued on to social media later when Mr Williamson remarked on his Twitter account: “I think people would pay good money to see this! Tory MP Philip Davies claimed in a debate that race whips don’t hurt. He invited MPs to whip themselves to prove his point. I suggested if I whipped him with one I’d probably make it hurt. He said I couldn’t. What do you think?”

He was responding to Plymouth Labour MP Luke Pollard’s tweet, who had remarked that it was “all kicking off in the racehorse welfare debate with Chris Williamson MP offering to take a race whip and whip Philip Davies, the Tory MP for Shipley to see if he could make it hurt.”

People responded to Mr Williamson on Twitter with remarks such as “Love Chris Williamson and his passion” and “Gotta love Chris”.

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