Labour MP's missing tuna salad sends a ripple through Westminster

Cold Sandwich - Moi Cody

As parliamentary scandals go it might not be on the scale of MPs fiddling their expenses, but the pilfering of a Labour frontbencher's tuna salad from a communal fridge has nevertheless caused a stir in Westminster.

When Liz Kendall, shadow minister for care and older people, discovered the theft of her packed lunch in Portcullis House she vented her frustration in a handwritten note posted on the fridge door. In a lighthearted warning to her colleagues, the MP for Leicester West wrote: "Someone has stolen my lunch from this fridge. I do not appreciate this and warn other people don't leave anything in here unless you're happy for it to go missing. Liz Kendall, Room 219."

But rather than leading to expressions of sympathy, the notice provoked a blunt response on a yellow sticky note: "I took it … and I'd do it again." Although it is not known whether the reply was penned by the thief, a third message was attached to the fridge that read: "You are a very sick individual."

Kendall, who is campaigning in the Corby byelection, denied on her Twitter account that she was responsible for the latest message.

She also wrote: "I'm too busy campaigning to speculate on the identity of the Westminster tuna-salad thief. But from now on I'll be eating a bigger breakfast."

Alexander Cruz Vidal, aide to deputy speaker Nigel Evans, replied: "@leicesterliz #saladgate has been keeping a sleepy Westminster in recess entertained all afternoon!"

Simon Chapman, director of policy and parliamentary affairs at the National Council for Palliative Care, added: "Hope whoever stole @leicesterliz's tuna salad ends up in the can. (I'll get my coat now)."

Kendall was elected in May 2010. She was previously director of The Maternity Alliance, a national charity for pregnant women, new parents and babies under one, and an associate director at the Institute for Public Policy Research.

Powered by article was written by David Batty, for The Guardian on Thursday 15th November 2012 01.23 Europe/London © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010