Point of Order

– in the House of Commons am 2:39 pm ar 22 Tachwedd 2023.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Alex Cunningham Alex Cunningham Shadow Minister (Justice) 2:39, 22 Tachwedd 2023

On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. During Prime Minister’s questions today, I asked the Prime Minister why 34% of children in my constituency live in poverty. Before the Prime Minister answered, the Home Secretary chose to add his pennyworth. I have contacted his office, advising him of my plan to name him, but sadly he has chosen not to be in the Chamber. He was seen and heard to say, “Because it’s a shithole.” I know he is denying being the culprit, but the audio is clear and has been checked and checked and checked again. There is no doubt that these comments shame the Home Secretary, this rotten Government and the Tory party. He is clearly unfit for his high office. Madam Deputy Speaker, will you advise me how I can secure an apology from the Home Secretary at the Dispatch Box for his appalling insult and foul language?

Photo of Eleanor Laing Eleanor Laing Deputy Speaker and Chairman of Ways and Means, Chair, Standing Orders Committee (Commons), Chair, Standing Orders Committee (Commons), Chair, Parliamentary Works Estimates Commission, Chair, Parliamentary Works Estimates Commission

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for having given me notice that he intended to raise this point of order, and I am pleased to note that he has informed the Home Secretary of his intention to raise the matter. My understanding is that Mr Speaker did not hear any remark of the kind from the Chair at the time when the hon. Gentleman was asking his question of the Prime Minister, and I understand that the alleged words were not actually used.

Although I appreciate what the hon. Gentleman says, I think we all know that it is very difficult in the noisy atmosphere of Prime Minister’s questions to discern exactly what someone says, so I can make no judgment from the Chair as to what was or was not said—but I understand the hon. Gentleman’s concern. I remind all hon. Members of the need for good temper and moderation in the language they use in this Chamber, and that the rules of decency should be observed, in particular when referring to other hon. Members, and to the constituents and constituencies that they represent.

The hon. Gentleman asked specifically how he can secure an apology. I am quite sure that, the Member in question being an honourable gentleman, if an apology is necessary, it will be issued to the hon. Gentleman, but I can make no judgment one way or the other. The hon. Gentleman has made his point.