A frontbench Labour MP has come under fire for calling a Conservative MP “scum” in the Commons chamber.
During a debate in the Commons on Wednesday, Angela Rayner called a Conservative MP “scum”. The comment came as Christopher Clarkson, her fellow Greater Manchester MP, was addressing the house when he criticised the area’s Metro Mayor, Andy Burnham, and accused the Labour Party of “opportunism”.
It was at this point that the Labour Deputy Leader could be heard saying scum from the Opposition front bench.
Christopher Clarkson reacted with fury to a remark from the Deputy Labour Leader, saying: “Excuse me, did the honourable lady just call me ‘scum’?”
The Deputy Speaker, Eleanor Laing, intervened by repeatedly shouting “Order!”, before saying to Rayner: “From the front bench, we will not have remarks like that, not under any circumstances, no matter how heartfelt it might be, not at all.”
Conservative MP Sara Britcliffe said: “The attitude that I’ve just seen in this chamber is what turned many of my residents against the Labour Party. It’s unacceptable.”
Christopher Clarkson has written to Angela Rayner demanding that she “retract and apologise for” her comment.
Amanda Milling, co-chair of the Conservative Party, called for Sir Keir Starmer to “take action” against Ms Rayner. Tweeting a video of the exchange, she said: “This is totally unacceptable from Angela Rayner.” At 29 seconds, she can be clearly heard to call Chris Clarkson “scum”.
As elected representatives we have a duty to lead by example. Will she apologise and if not will Keir Starmer take action? pic.twitter.com/7Hj4ojZNlV
— Amanda Milling (@amandamilling) October 21, 2020
Angela Rayner is now trending on Twitter and has received mixed reaction from supporters, with one saying: “I’m with @AngelaRayner on this one. Probably with Angela on just about everything”. They also believed that Angela showed “restraint” and “should not have apologised”.
The Ashton-Under-Lyne MP has issued an apology, saying: “I apologise for the language that I used in a heated debate in Parliament earlier.”
The incident can be seen below: