David Cameron is talking ‘bollocks’ says Labour frontbencher (and leader agrees)

Written by Kevin Schofield and David Singleton on 18 May 2016 in Diary

Emily Thornberry's outbust came after Jeremy Corbyn had refused to make small talk with David Cameron.

Jeremy Corbyn has backed Emily Thornberry after she told David Cameron he was talking "bollocks" in the Commons chamber.

The shadow defence secretary reacted angrily after the prime minister made a series of claims about members of the shadow cabinet. In particular, he said that Thornberry did not "believe in defence".

The Labour MP, who opposes the renewal of Britain's Trident nuclear weapons, was clearly seen saying "bollocks" in Cameron's direction.

When Tory MPs who witnessed the outburst made clear their displeasure, the Labour frontbencher smiled and repeated herself.

Speaking afterwards, Corbyn's spokesman said Thornberry was entitled to respond to the allegation. He said: "She was responding to being attacked by the prime minister. She was entitled to react to it."

It is unclear whether "bollocks" is classed as unparliamentary language, although it was used in the Commons by former Labour MP Alex Woodall in 1986.

Cameron's spokesman said: "The prime minister would say that positions held by Labour on defence prove that his description is correct. It's for Emily Thornberry to talk about the language she used."

A source close to Thornberry told PoliticsHome: "It may not have been parliamentary, but it was certainly accurate.

"But there is a serious point. If the prime minister is going to insult MPs by saying they don't care about the defence of this country, he should expect to take a little back.

"You'd think he would have learned from the tactics he tried against Sadiq Khan."





Cameron had used his address in the Commons to attack various members of the shadow cabinet - including the leader. "We do face an extraordinary opposition," he claimed.

On the Queen's Speech, the prime minister called it "a One Nation speech from a One Nation government".

In his response, Corbyn accused Cameron of turning a blind eye to the "consequences" of cuts to public services and branded the government a "driverless car heading in the wrong direction".

There was also an awkward moment earlier in the day when Cameron tried to make small talk with Corbyn as they walked into the House of Lords for the Queen’s Speech - and the Labour leader made it clear he was not interested.




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