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Labour MP refuses to withdraw word ‘dodgy’ to describe Tories

Labour MP refuses to withdraw word ‘dodgy’ to describe Tories
‘I don’t think another word suffices the level of corruption’, says Zarah Sultana

UNE La main d'oeuvre MP repeatedly refused to withdraw a description of senior Conservatives as “dodgy”, claiming no other word suffices for “the level of corruption and what we have seen from the government”.

In a heated Commons row, Zarah Sultana refused three times to take back her attack on the Tories after she accused transport secretary Grant Shapps and fellow cabinet minister Jacob Rees-Mogg of being “dodgy”.

Ms Sultana was referring to a report which claimed Mr Shapps set up a departmental unit that lobbied against building on airfields – denied by government – and Mr Rees-Mogg’s role in the botched plan to rewrite disciplinary rules.

Interjecting, deputy speaker Dame Eleanor Laing told the Labour MP for Coventry South she did not like the word “dodgy”, ajouter: “Perhaps she could put it in different words.”

But Ms Sultana then refused three times to withdraw it – claiming at one point to be “confused” by the deputy speaker’s request because she could not think of a more suitable term.

“I don’t think another word suffices the level of corruption and what we have seen from this government, so I think that term suffices,” said the Labour MP.

Raising her voice, Dame Eleanor said: “Order! Ordre! She misunderstands me. I am asking her to withdraw the word ‘dodgy’. I have given her the opportunity to put her question in other words. If she doesn’t want to take that opportunity, she doesn’t have to.”

“I won’t withdraw the remarks,” said Ms Sultana, who declined to re-ask her question to Mr Rees-Mogg with “moderate language”.

pendant ce temps, Mr Rees-Mogg compared Sir Keir Starmer to a “scuttling beetle” for branding Boris Johnson a “coward” on Twitter – after the Labour leader was forced to withdraw his jibe in the Commons on Wednesday.

The Commons leader said: “To have to withdraw in this House and then scuttle out like a beetle and tweet it is, je pense, utterly disrespectful to this House and not the sort of cross-party leadership that one might expect.”

Rebuking the leader of the opposition, Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle said: “Coward is not what is used in this House – and I’m sure that the leader of the opposition will withdraw it.”

Sir Keir responded: “I withdraw it – but he’s no leader,” before tweeting the insult.

Earlier this year Labour MP Dawn Butler was told to leave the Commons after she refused to withdrawn her claim that Mr Johnson has “lied to the House and the country over and over again”.

Ms Butler was ordered to leave the House for the rest of the day, since it is not parliamentary etiquette to call another member a liar.