Boris Johnson admonished for 'sexism' after calling female MP by husband's name

'We don’t name call in this chamber,' speaker of house tells foreign secretary

Rob Merrick
Deputy Political Editor
Tuesday 27 March 2018 14:36 BST
Bercow: It's 'inappropriate and frankly, sexist' for Boris Johnson to refer to Emily Thornberry by the title of her spouse in the chamber

Boris Johnson has been branded “sexist” by the Commons Speaker after calling Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry by her husband’s husband to ridicule her.

The Foreign Secretary sneered at Ms Thornberry as “Lady Nugee” – a reference to her marriage to High Court Judge Sir Christopher Nugee.

“We don’t name call in this chamber,” John Bercow told Mr Johnson in a stern telling off. “We do not address people by the titles of their spouses.

The Speaker won applause from the Labour benches as he said: “The Shadow Foreign Secretary has her name – and it’s not lady something

“It is inappropriate and frankly sexist to speak in those terms and I’m not having it in this chamber. No matter how senior a member, that parlance is not legitimate and it will not be allowed.”

Mr Johnson was forced to “apologise for any inadvertent sexism or discourtesy that you may have deemed me to be guilty of”.

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