JEREMY CORBYN mouths something at Theresa May after Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs)

During prime minister’s questions on Wednesday the Labour leader appears to call the prime minister a ‘stupid woman’ after describing her plans for a no-deal Brexit as  a ‘criminal waste of money’

|SIENNA RODGERS, LABOURLIST|AIWA! NO!|I don’t know whether Jeremy Corbyn muttered “stupid woman” or “stupid people”, and I don’t really care. Call it whataboutery if you like, but let’s get some perspective. Two Tory MPs had the whip restored last week: one was accused of sexual harassment by his own constituents, and we know he sent thousands of texts to them including violent sexual imagery; the other was suspended after “serious allegations” against him including rape were referred to the police.


BY : CHARLIE COCKSEDGE
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Theresa May/Jeremy Corbyn prime ministers questionsBBC
Leader of the Labour party Jeremy Corbyn has been accused of calling prime minister Theresa May ‘a stupid woman’ by Conservative MPs.

The comments apparently came at the end of prime minister’s questions today (December 19).

MPs are claiming Corbyn muttered the insult under his breath after May mocked his decision not to call a vote of confidence towards the prime minister.

The pair were engaging in another heated debate at PMQs, and the apparent insult came after the pair’s final exchanges of the session.

You can watch the moment here:


MPs are claiming Corbyn muttered the comment after May replied to one of his questions, saying:

I know it’s the Christmas season and the pantomime season. He’s going to put a confidence vote – oh yes he is, oh no he isn’t. I’ve got some advice.

Look behind you! They are not impressed and neither is the country.

With nothing better to do after the debate – I’m guessing the government has some spare time on its hands with nothing big looming on the horizon like, erm, Brexit – a number of Conservative MPs raised the issue with May in the House of Commons, with former Tory chair Patrick McLoughlin, asking the Speaker, John Bercow, to censure Corbyn.

The MPs who raised the matter were the Commons leader Andrea Leadsom, the Conservative vice-chair Paul Scully, Tory backbencher Anna Soubry, as well as McLoughlin.

Bercow, however, refused to intervene, saying he did not hear or see the exchange.

jeremy corbyn speakingGetty
Leadsom then criticised Bercow himself, and claimed he’d not apologised after he once apparently called her a ‘stupid woman’ in another debate in May this year. The Speaker was reported to the standards watchdog over the incident, The Guardian reports.

Shortly after the alleged insult, Paul Scully mentioned it to the prime minister.

He said:

This year, when we’ve been celebrating 100 years of women getting the vote, do you think it’s appropriate language to call people a ‘stupid woman’ in this chamber?

May replied:

Can I say to my honourable friend that I think that everybody in this house, particularly in this 100th year of women getting the vote, should be aiming to encourage women to come into this chamber, and to stand in this chamber and should therefore use appropriate language in this chamber when they are referring to female members.

While you can’t hear what Corbyn is saying on video footage from the incident, some people are suggesting he said ‘people’, rather than ‘woman’, referring to the Tory party as a whole.

Many people also picked up on the fact an issue like this is easily jumped on in order to distract from other matters.

One person wrote:

Quite something to see the British media making more of what Jeremy Corbyn did/did not say than they did when Theresa May reinstated the whip for a confidence vote in herself to two men still under investigation for sexual assault. Priorities, hey?

Quite something to see the British media making more of what Jeremy Corbyn did/did not say than they did when Theresa May reinstated the whip for a confidence vote in herself to two men still under investigation for sexual assault. Priorities, hey?🤷🏼‍♂️

— Liam Young (@liamyoung) December 19, 2018

The “stupid woman” row is a mildly interesting microcosm of our politics, I suppose: we can see Corbyn said “woman” not “people”; experts can be found that say he said “woman”; but he can still deny it, and his supporters will believe him. And eventually it will be forgotten.

— Stig Abell (@StigAbell) December 19, 2018

Another said:

Jeremy Corbyn spokesman: “He did not call her a stupid woman so there’s no basis for an apology. He said stupid people.”

Jeremy Corbyn spokesman: “He did not call her a stupid woman so there’s no basis for an apology. He said stupid people.”

— Kevin Schofield (@PolhomeEditor) December 19, 2018

Here's Corbyn responding to May at 1/4 speed.

He clearly says 'stupid people'. Verified twitter accounts, particularly political journalists, should look at this stuff before mindlessly tweeting inaccurate claims #PMQs pic.twitter.com/6LeYQUdkHb

— Aaron Bastani (@AaronBastani) December 19, 2018

A spokesperson for the Labour leader has said Corbyn said ‘people’, rather than ‘woman’.

Speaker John Bercow has also said he’ll now look at the footage of the alleged incident and would expect Corbyn to return to the House of Commons if he needed to make a finding against him.

Corbyn is expected to make a statement on the matter later today (December 19).

If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via stories@unilad.co.uk

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They’re now allowed to vote as Conservative MPs again, although there’s been no transparency about the party investigations that apparently took place. This is not to say that only Tories are misogynists – everyone in Westminster knows of creepy married Labour MPs who hit on young women in parliamentary bars or sleep with staffers. No, I’m saying that if you want to talk about whether the Labour leader hates women, we’d be better discussing the Corbynite position on prostitution than something he said under his breath during a heated PMQs.

The fact that MPs discussed the “stupid woman” row for such a long time in the chamber yesterday wasn’t really about whether Corbyn made a sexist comment. The MPs had varying agendas. Many were playing party politics, cynically pointing out the opposition leader’s remark while failing to call out much worse in their own ranks. Others were taking the opportunity to highlight Speaker Bercow’s behaviour. All were probably desperate to talk about anything but Brexit, out of boredom and/or embarrassment. So yes, language can contribute to further embedding misogyny into our social and political structures. But let’s acknowledge the motivations here, and prioritise matters of actual sexual violence if we really care about fighting against the hatred of women.

In other Labour news, Fiona Onasanya has been found guilty of perverting the course of justice. A party spokesperson said she had been “administratively suspended”, adding: “The Labour Party is deeply disappointed in Fiona Onasanya’s behaviour. It falls well below what is expected of politicians. She should now resign.”

A by-election doesn’t necessarily follow – it it only automatically triggered if an MP gets sentenced to over a year in prison – however it seems unlikely that she wouldn’t voluntarily resign her seat regardless. Her constituency, Peterborough, is a very marginal one (607 votes in it) and Leave-voting. We only just won it back last year: this would be a real test for Labour.

The House rises today for Christmas recess. All parliamentarians will no doubt be thinking about Brexit during the festive season, with many decisions to be made (and perhaps U-turns to justify) ahead of the mid-January meaningful vote.

Will Labour end up backing another referendum? Not if Len McCluskey’s latest piece in The New Statesman is anything to go by. Could members of the PLP, threatened with ‘no deal’, help drive through a Tory Brexit deal? Stranger things have happened.

Like MPs, the LabourList morning email will be back on 7th January – unless something very dramatic happens to ruin my much-needed break – but keep checking the site for the occasional comment piece. Have a lovely holiday, and see you in the new year.

Sienna @siennamarla

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1 Comment

  1. Is this all the bankrupt Tories can drum up, in order to cover up their total incompetency? I would say that quoting old widow twankey, during serious discussion, does qualify the Maybot as stupid. I would also say she qualifies as a woman. End of argument.

    Liked by 1 person

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