Corbyn appears to call Theresa May ‘stupid woman’ at PMQs, drawing criticism from Labour MP

TV cameras capture Labour leader shaking his head and appearing to mutter 'stupid woman' at his opponent across the chamber

Jeremy Corbyn appears to call Theresa May a 'stupid woman' during PMQs

Jeremy Corbyn is under fire from one of his own MPs after appearing to mouth “stupid woman” at Theresa May, after a heated question time in the Commons.

The Labour leader lost his composure after the prime minister taunted him about his failure to call a vote of no confidence in her despite attacking the Brexit chaos.

TV cameras captured Mr Corbyn shaking his head and appearing to mutter “stupid woman” at his opponent across the chamber.

Stella Creasy, a Labour backbencher, tweeted: “This is not ok. PMQs is a hotbed of emotions but I hope that Jeremy will accept this kind of behaviour isn’t his normal good nature or what we expect of progressive men.”

The controversy was raised within minutes at prime minister’s questions, with Ms May herself asked if she believed the remark was “appropriate”.

She appeared unaware of what had happened, but said all MPs should “use appropriate language in the chamber when they are referring to female members”.

Brandon Lewis, the Tory party chairman, leapt on the controversy, tweeting: “Will @jeremycorbyn apologise or clarify exactly what he was saying? Looks shocking on the film, unacceptable in any environment.”

However, shortly after prime minister’s questions, Mr Corbyn’s spokesman denied the allegation, insisting: “He did not call her a ‘stupid woman’. So I don’t think there is a basis for an apology. As I understand it he said ‘stupid people’.”

The spokesman told reporters: “Lip reading in such circumstances is always open to doubt.”

As tempers flared, John Bercow, the Commons speaker, said he did not see or hear the alleged remark, but made clear: “Is that language unacceptable? Yes.”

He also urged Mr Corbyn “to return to the chamber” to hear his verdict on what happened later this afternoon, after watching the TV footage.

In a BBC TV studio, Barry Gardiner, a Labour frontbencher and Corbyn ally, said he was “not a lipreader” but agreed it appeared that Mr Corbyn had said “stupid woman”.

The row blew up after Ms May likened Mr Corbyn’s attempt to force a confidence vote in her earlier this week to a Christmas pantomime – accusing him of dithering.

First he said he would call a no confidence vote, Then he said he wouldn’t. Then he did, but it was not effective. “Oh yes he will, oh no he won’t,” she taunted – saying the Labour leader should “look behind him” at his own despairing MPs.

But Mr Corbyn hit back, saying it was the prime minister’s job to deliver the negotiation and, if she was incapable of doing so, she should step aside for someone who can.

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