Political commentator delivers blistering response to Tory backbenchers offended by Angela Rayner's slur

A political commentator has delivered a blistering response to Tory MPs who called on Angela Rayner to apologise after...

Grace Blakeley on Politics Live - Credit: Twitter

A political commentator has delivered a blistering response to Tory MPs who called on Angela Rayner to apologise after labelling one of them a "scum" in the Commons.

Tory backbenchers Chris Clarkson and Shaun Bailey were successful in getting an apology from Labour's deputy leader after she was caught blurting out the insult during an MPs speech.

Rayner called Clarkson, the MP for Heywood & Middleton, a "scum" after he accused Labour and Greater Manchester's mayor Andy Burnham of "opportunism" during the pandemic.

Rayner has since apologised.

Tory backbencher Anthony Browne called it 'bad politics' during an appearing on BBC 2's Politics Live.

"I certainly think this was bad behaviour. I think it's really important to restore civility in public life and bad language isn't deserved anywhere. We can have our differences but we should always be polite."

Former Labour deputy Tom Watson said it was not uncommon for barbs to be thrown among MPs during heated debates.

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"It all fizzles over when you're in the chamber," he noted.

"I remember being pulled over by the speaker for calling Michael Gove a pipsqueak which apparently was unparliamentary.

"You never want to lose your temper in those debates but sometimes they're so passionate. People believe these things very strongly and when there's disagreement everyone boils over.

"I'm sure Angela regrets it."

Grace Blakeley cut in: "I think if we want to restore civility to our politics, we should probably think about as the sixth largest economy in the world not letting children starve in the winter. That is really the crux of the issue.

The political commentator added: "The debate around what to call someone else across the chamber is just a distraction." 

Her comments came after 322 Tory MPs voted against a Labour motion to extend free meals to children across the October half-term and Christmas holidays.

Manchester United's Marcus Rashford, who campaigned for the extension and secured one over the summer recess, expressed his disappointment at the outcome on Twitter.

Writing to his 3.5 million followers, he said: "A significant number of children are going to bed tonight not only hungry but feeling like they do not matter because of comments that have been made today.

"We must stop stigmatising, judging and pointing fingers. Our views are being clouded by political affiliation. This is not politics, this is humanity."

"Brilliant," tweeted one user. "Boom" said another.

"Actions speak louder than words," wrote a third.

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