A Tory MP is controversially claiming that the so-called ‘horse meat scandal’ blighting the UK’s food industry actually lies behind the country’s success at the 2012 London Olympics. “Don’t those idiots at the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and the bloody press realise that they are jeopardising our medal chances in Rio in 2016 with their ridiculous campaign against horse meat?” fifty-three year old former Health Minister Harold Cleaver demanded at a recent press conference. “How else do they think that Mo Farah won those gold medals? He was chock full of pedigree race horse, that’s how!” According to Cleaver, the continued consumption of specific types of meat over a prolonged period can result in certain attributes of the animal the meat originates from being transferred to the person eating it. “It’s bloody obvious, isn’t it?” he insisted, when challenged by journalists as to the scientific basis of such claims. “Meat is organic material containing the genetic code of the animal it comes from – ingesting it means those genes inevitably get into the system of the person eating it, where it mingles with their own genetic code!” The backbencher cited the beliefs of various African tribes to back up his assertions, pointing out that they would often eat the hearts of lions to gain courage, or the brains of elephants for wisdom. “Not only that, but it is the engine of evolution – surely everyone knows that,” he told the assembled journalists. “How else do you think lions got fast enough to chase antelopes and zebra? By eating the buggers, of course! That’s how they keep up – no matter how fast their prey gets, they just eat them and gain the same speed!”

Unfazed by the allegation that his comments were highly insulting to British athletes, effectively dismissing years of sacrifice and training and instead ascribing their success to a food labelling error, the member for Bracknell Cemetaries proceeded to claim that the athletes finishing line behaviour provided further evidence for his claims. “For God’s sake – didn’t you see Mo Farah after he won his second gold medal? He was steaming like a horse after the Grand National and neighing!” he told the press. “And let’s not forget the way that Jessica Ennis went straight for that bag of oats after winning the heptathlon!” However, Cleaver is at pains to point out that not all of Britain’s Olympic medal winners owed their success to unwittingly eating horse meat. “Obviously, the ones who did the business in things like rowing or sailing went to private schools and grew up in families well off enough to feed them proper food, not cheap supermarket meals. It was primarily the working class athletes from state schools who benefitted. Besides, horse attributes wouldn’t be much use to rowers, would they?” he declared, whilst conceding that the horse meat diet might have hampered other athletes. “That’s why we did so badly at the swimming – bloody slow swimmers, those nags. We should have had our swimming team on a fish and chips diet.”

Most astoundingly, the MP claimed that the whole horse meat scandal was actually part of a plan instituted under John Major’s Tory government in the 1990s to boost Britain’s sporting prowess. “It was virtually the last act of his administration, triggered by the UK’s woeful performance at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics,” Cleaver explained. “I mean, one bloody gold medal! Thirty sixth in the medal table! People have forgotten just how humiliating it was to come behind the likes of Ethiopia and Turkey in the medals table!” Desperate to improve the performance of British athletes, the Prime Minister seized upon Cleaver’s radical suggestion to start secretly introducing horse meat into British food on a massive scale. “It was my proudest moment – I was only a junior Health Minister back then of course, yet I managed to shape the nation’s sporting destiny,” he boasted. “It was obvious that we had to get the stuff into the cheapest food, so as to reach the poorest kids in the worst comprehensives. Let’s face it, we were doing them a favour – being good at sport was the only chance the thick bastards would ever have of getting out of their awful ghettos, We gave them an incredible boost in that respect!” Cleaver maintains that the policy was entirely ethical. “Look, if we hadn’t resorted to the horse meat, then we would have been forced to use illegal performance enhancing drugs like the East Germans used to,” he blustered. “That’s the beauty of our plan – there’s nothing illegal about horse meat and it doesn’t show positive in blood tests!”

Many commentators believe that the use of horsemeat to try and improve the performance of athletes is tantamount to using drugs. “If there was any improvement in performance as a result of eating horse, it would be the result of the various drugs regularly used to dope race horses in order to influence the outcome of races,” opined Professor Ed Carver of the East Grinstead Veterinary Postal College. “Although it is far more likely that any human ingesting them would risk severe health problems.” The academic also pointed out that Cleaver’s theories as to the transfer of physical attributes through ingesting meat had no scientific basis whatsoever. “The very idea is positively medieval,” he has told journalists. “I find it hard to credit that he could ever have persuaded more senior government ministers that it had any merit. They must have been stark staring mad. Either that or just plain stupid.”

Cleaver has reacted angrily to recent press allegations that a company owned by his wife had made huge profits through selling horses to foreign abattoirs. “The idea that I might have invented this whole story to cover up the fact that I was profiteering on the back of passing off horse meat as beef is ludicrous,” he declared. “Even if it were true, people should be thanking me – everyone knows that, thanks to mad cow disease, beef is far too dangerous to eat. Horse is far healthier.” Although the current Tory government has distanced itself from Cleaver’s bizarre claims, the backbencher has been fulsome in his praise for Cameron’s administration, arguing that its austerity programme was helping to promote the horse meat performance enhancement scheme. “With councils forced to cut back their spending, it’s meant that they’ve had to pursue ever cheaper options for things like school dinners. Which inevitably means feeding kids cheap supermarket stodge full of horse,” he chortled. “Even if the press and tree huggers force them to ban the horse meat, I’m hopeful that enough will be in today’s young people to bring us success at Rio in 2016. Indeed, I’m confident that the government shares my optimism – why else do you think that they aren’t bothered about implementing the 2012 Olympic legacy by improving sporting facilities for the plebs?”