MALE Tory MPs were told by Speaker John Bercow to stop their “stupid” and “boorish” heckling of shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry during Prime Minister’s questions this week.
She was standing in for Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn while Theresa May, away on a visit to China, was represented by Cabinet Office Minister David Lidington, her effective deputy.
Mr Bercow rebuked the rabble of MPs, shouting: “Order! Order!
“I’m sure it’ll not have escaped public notice, and it is rather a sad irony, that when a woman is addressing the House, quite a lot of noisy, boorish and, in one case, a rather stupid individual try to shout the right honourable lady down. Cut it out.”
Ms Thornberry labelled the DUP-supported Tory government a “coalition of cavemen” for its resistance to changing the legal voting age.
She argued that there was “no principled objection to votes at 16” — a proposal backed by all the opposition parties in Parliament along with the Welsh and Scottish governments.
Evoking the precedent of women’s struggle for the right to vote, she insisted that, “when change is right, it cannot be resisted forever and this is a change whose time has come.”
Mr Lidington said 26 of the 27 other members of the EU, the US, Canada, New Zealand and Australia all have the same minimum voting age.
“Unless she’s going to denounce all of those countries as somehow inadequate to her own particular standards, then quite honestly I wish she ought to grow up and try and treat this subject with a greater degree of seriousness.”
Referring to this remark, Scottish Labour MP Danielle Rowley tweeted : “How patronising/sexist/ironic and what an awful way to represent government.”
A No 10 spokesman said that Ms May “would not use that language.”
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