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UK Politics

David Cameron forced to withdraw 'idiots' jibe aimed at Ed Miliband and Ed Balls


David Cameron today dismissed Labour leader Ed Miliband and shadow chancellor Ed Balls as "muttering idiots" as he lost his temper at their heckling during Prime Minister's Questions.

Tory MPs started laughing and jeering after Mr Cameron sniped at the senior Labour figures during a heated PMQs but there were shouts of "Flashman" from the Opposition benches, a remark aimed at the Prime Minister when he is seen to be riled.

Mr Cameron's comments came as he defended the Government's economic record but he was told to withdraw the insult by Commons Speaker John Bercow.

The Prime Minister said: "What we need to do both in Britain and Europe is to combine deficit reduction, which has given us the low interest rates, with an active monetary policy, with structural reforms to make us competitive, and with innovative ways of using our hard-won credibility, which we wouldn't have if we listened to the muttering idiots sitting opposite me."

Mr Bercow told Mr Cameron to withdraw the word "idiot" as it was "unparliamentary".

A "simple withdrawal" would do, he said.

In a reference to Mr Balls, the Prime Minister said he would replace it with the words "the man who left us with this enormous deficit and this financial crisis".

Speaking outside the Commons, a Labour source said: "The Prime Minister is increasingly losing his temper and increasingly losing the House of Commons, because he is increasingly losing the economic argument.

"It is deeply un-prime ministerial and a sign of his weakness on the key economic argument."