Was UK PM May called a ‘stupid woman’? The day Brexit chaos took a backseat in British politics
London, Dec 20: Amid the Brexit crisis, the politicians in the UK on Wednesday, December 19, saw a fresh controversy breaking out and it was not a political but a sexist one. It so happened that Labour and Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn was accused of calling Prime Minister Theresa May a "stupid woman" during Prime Minister's Questions and the Conservative MPs protested against it seeking an apology from the former.
Corbyn was asked to make a statement to the Tory MPs and he denied uttering the insulting words against the PM, saying he never intend to indulge in sexist jibes. The 69-year-old leader said he was "opposed to the use of sexist and misogynist language in any form" and that he had actually said "stupid people".
"During prime minister's question time today, I referred to those who I believe were seeking to turn a debate about the national crisis facing our country into a pantomime as 'stupid people'," he said. "Mr Speaker I did not use the words 'stupid woman' about the prime minister or anyone else."
However, video footage showed the Labour leader uttering something else after May told him in her speech that his own party was not impressed. The Conservative MPs were not convinced with Corbyn's defence and even showed the clips of the footage to the Speaker of the House of Commons - John Bercow - continuing to seek apology from Corbyn. Bercow said he had not seen the alleged incident and neither was he a lip-reader.
Conservative MP Rachel Maclean responded to Corbyn saying: "Read my lips - I don't believe him."
The Speaker also consulted a "lip speaker" who interpret lip movements in court rooms and other settings when a lip reader fails to be conclusive enough, but even then it was said to be inconclusive.
Meanwhile, amid the sexism row, two other Tory MPs - Andrea Leadsom and Vicky Ford - also accused the Speaker himself of using the words "stupid women" against them in the past.