DIANE ABBOTT has accused Tory MPs of staging a ‘mini-riot’ over claims Jeremy Corbyn called the prime minister a ‘stupid woman’ during a dispute in the Commons.
The shadow home secretary said the Conservatives ‘put on a display which Hackney primary school children would have been ashamed of’, during a row after prime minister’s questions on Wednesday.
She told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme Mr Corbyn was an honest man and ‘if he has something to say sorry for he will always say sorry’. She added: ‘To me, it was contrived, staged behaviour, and the British people might wonder why the Tories will stage a mini-riot in parliament over that but not over the tens of thousands of people who are newly on Universal Credit and are facing Christmas with no money.’
Deputy Labour leader Tom Watson also defended Mr Corbyn, telling Good Morning Britain he had ‘denied using those words, and that is good enough for me’.
He added: ‘Being on TV talking about what Jeremy did or did not say is not great. But that is British politics for you.’
Mr Corbyn, who insists he did not call Theresa May a ‘stupid woman’, was brought back to the Commons hours after the dispute erupted and denied using sexist language. ‘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 added.
But the Tories yesterday continued to attack the Labour leader.
Helen Whately, the Conservatives’ vice chair for women, urged supporters to join the party to ‘show Corbyn he can’t get away with calling Mrs May a “stupid woman”.’
■ A LABOUR MP has resigned from the party and hit out at Jeremy Corbyn’s handling of anti-Semitism. In his resignation letter, former Foreign Office minister Ivan Lewis told Mr Corbyn that ‘all too often you have been unwilling to condemn those whose hatred of Israel becomes Jew hatred’. The Bury South MP has been suspended for more than a year over allegations of sexual harassment, which he denies.