Austerity? It's a Good Name for a Girl, Says Tory Grandee

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Byline: Simon Walters and Brendan Carlin

THE Coalition was last night plunged into a new 'We're all in this together' row after a senior Tory Minister mockingly suggested people could name their children after the economic crisis.

In an extraordinary gaffe, Commons Leader Sir George Young forecast that parents might christen their babies to reflect the harsh times.

On his blog, the wealthy baronet wrote: 'Looking at the New Year Messages from our political leaders, tough times lie ahead. The Victorians gave their daughters Christian names resonant of the spirit of their time - Charity, Patience, Chastity, Grace and Prudence.

'Having read the predictions for 2011, I predict that The Times list of the most popular girls' names for the year may include a new one - Austerity.' In the same message, the Eton-educated MP - whose full name is Sir George Samuel Knatchbull Young - also said that his family 'celebrated Christmas at the snowbound ancestral home on the banks of the Thames' where his son Gerry now lives.

Last night, Labour MPs condemned Sir George - known as the 'bicycling baronet' for his fondness for cycling to work - for his remarks. …