The mutter that became a roar: Jeremy Corbyn causes uproar

Written by James Millar on 19 December 2018 in Diary

Watch: just what did the Labour leader say about Theresa May?

The House of Commons had a festive meltdown after Jeremy Corbyn appeared to call Theresa May a 'stupid woman' at Prime Minister's Questions.

The Labour leader's team insist he actually said 'stupid people' to describe the Tory MPs who moments earlier where playing along with a panto-themed attack by the Prime Minister. When called back to the Commons later in the day Corbyn stated on the record that he'd said 'people' rather than 'woman'.



Media outlets have lined up lipreaders to study the footage with many insisting it looks like he said 'woman' rather than 'people'. Corbyn recently won the parliamentary beard of the year poll and his facial hair makes it harder to discern definitively what he said. 

A producer on Radio 2's Jeremy Vine show somehow enlisted world famous percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie, who is deaf, to study the footage.



Whatever he said the incident sparked chaos in the Commons and on social media.

On Twitter, West Wing actor Rob Lowe bizarrely got involved.



Even more bizarrely the one-time Hollywood heartthrob is believed to be in the UK filming and ITV cop show in Lincolnshire at the moment.

Meanwhile in the Commons MPs were furious with Speaker John Bercow after he initially refused to hear a point of order about the incident. When he backed down he was faced with a torrent of anger, first when he said he couldn't rule on what happened until he'd seen the footage and again when Leader of the House Andrea Leadsom turned up the heat on him by pointing out that he'd been accused of calling her a 'stupid woman' earlier in the year and failed to apologise himself. Tory Anna Soubry piled in to suggest the Speaker would've treated things differently if it had been a Torywho had insulted a Labour frontbencher while Dame Margaret Beckett infuriated the Conservative benches when she accused them of an 'orchestrated riot'. With the Speaker barely maintaining control and the Commons microphones in danger of giving up Bercow just about placated MPs by promising to review a clip of the moment Corbyn appeared to utter the sexist phrase.

The House of Commons has just published new rules on bullying and sexual harassment.  

The final Prime Minister's Questions session of the year had started with festive goodwill all round and Corbyn admitted his Christmas wishes even extended to Tory MPs. However as the session descended into near anarchy plenty of wags pointed out the paralells with Christmas traditions.






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