Vicky Ford MP: 'Speaker has called me a stupid woman'

Vicky Ford MP: 'Speaker has called me a stupid woman'

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Conservative MP Vicky Ford says House of Commons Speaker John Bercow has "chuntered" at her from his seat, calling her a "stupid woman".

She also called on Jeremy Corbyn to apologise for the “confusion” around a video that appeared to show him mouthing that phrase at Theresa May.

The Labour leader denies those were his words, saying he is "opposed to the use of sexist and misogynist language in any form”. He said what he actually mouthed was ‘stupid people’.

“It’s an incredibly derogatory phrase,” said Ms Ford, the MP for Chelmsford said, and told James Whale - who pointed out that Mr Corbyn said he did not use such a phrase - and his listeners to “look at social media and make up their own minds”.

Watch: Jeremy Corbyn said he mouthed 'stupid people'. Video: Parliament TV


Speaker 'chuntering'

“I don’t think it’s acceptable language in the workplace, to be calling a colleague a stupid woman,” Ms Ford continued.

“If Jeremy Corbyn did not say it, he could at least have apologised for the confusion that arose. He didn’t do that.

“Last week, there was concern the Prime Minister had been accused of being nebulous, vague and not thinking straight, that’s not acceptable either.”

She went on to say that she thought the Speaker, John Bercow, had used the phrase about her.

“I believe I have heard him chuntering that from his own seat when I’ve spoken, which I found upsetting,” she said.

“I haven’t felt that I wanted to raise that formally until today, but I felt like I didn’t have a choice. It’s the first time I’ve ever tweeted ‘hashtag me too’.”


Commons behaviour guidelines 'ironic'

Mr Ford added that she was not satisfied with how Mr Bercow handled the Corbyn incident, which he said he didn’t see.

“What should the Speaker have done differently?” asked Whale.

“I would have liked the Speaker to have immediately stood up and said he was going to investigate what happened, and the use of the phrase ‘stupid woman’ is not an acceptable phrase to be used in the House of Commons,” Ms Ford replied.

“I’d like him to apologise again to Andrea Leadsom because he never has apologised for when he used that phrase to her.”

Ms Ford said that it was “ironic” that the incident happened on Wednesday, the same day she said she and other MPs received a booklet from the Speaker about workplace conduct.

“He sent us all a book about how we should behave, we got it in the post [on Wednesday] morning,” she said.