Every once in a while, a middle-aged white man in the House of Commons chamber does something good.
This time, it’s John Bercow, the Speaker of the House, who laid into the Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson for calling his opposite number “Lady Nugee” – a tiresome Tory joke about the shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry being married to Sir Christopher Nugee, a former high court judge.
During a spat across the despatch box, Johnson called Thornberry the “noble and learned lady, the baroness, whatever it is, Nugee! What an extraordinary thing!”
Bercow swiftly responded with a spectacular rant against the Foreign Secretary, forbidding such language in the chamber:
“First of all, we don’t name call in this chamber, and secondly, we do not address people by the titles of their spouses. The shadow foreign secretary has a name, and it’s not ‘Lady Something’. We know what her name is. And it is inappropriate and frankly sexist to speak in those terms, and I’m not having it in this chamber. That is the end of the matter.
“No matter how senior a member, that parlance is not legitimate, it will not be allowed, and it will be called out. I’ve said what the position is, and believe me, that is the end of the matter. I hope I’ve made the position extremely clear to people who are not well-informed about such matters.”
Watch it here:
Speaker John Bercow blasts Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson for being ‘sexist’ in attacking Shadow Foreign Secretary, Emily Thornberry pic.twitter.com/u3toLsNvhs
— Richard Morris (@imrichardmorris) March 27, 2018