POLITICS
21/05/2018 17:39 BST | Updated 22/05/2018 10:27 BST

John Bercow Denies 'Stupid Woman' Outburst But Admits 'Muttered Aside' About Government

Speaker was accused of making offensive remarks about Commons leader Andrea Leadsom but claims the remark was aimed at the Government generally.

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Commons Speaker John Bercow speaks in the House of Commons

John Bercow has admitted using the word “stupid” in Parliament - but said it was part of “a muttered aside” and not directed at Commons leader Andrea Leadsom. 

In a statement to MPs on Monday, the Speaker said his outburst was due to frustration with the Government over a “very badly handled” statement and insisted that he “respects all of my colleagues”. 

It comes after days of allegations that he called Tory MP Leadsom a “stupid woman” last Wednesday.  

He went on: “That adjective simply summed up how I felt about the way that day’s business had been conducted.

“Anyone who knows (Leadsom) at all well will have not the slightest doubt about her political ability and her personal character.”

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Leader of the House of Commons Andrea Leadsom

Bercow, making a statement to MPs, went on: “I love this House, I respect all of my colleagues, I hold you all in the highest esteem.

“It is our duty to get on with the business of Parliament, scrutinising legislation, debating issues and standing up for the people we are here to represent.

“For my part I will continue to speak out firmly for the interests of the whole House and if from time to time it involves publicly disagreeing with the Government’s management of business, then so be it.”

Bercow was also alleged to have called Leadsom “f****** useless” in the aside in the Commons chamber last week.

Leadsom was reported not to have heard the comment but MPs who claimed to have caught his remarks were said to be outraged.