Home secretary is not-too-Cleverly in latest entertaining scandal - Vladimir McTavish

Life is never dull in British politics. Hot on the heels of iPadgate, the newest scandal to entertain us all is S**tholegate. Last week, the MP for Stockton North Alex Cunningham asked Rishi Sunak in Parliament why 34 per cent of children in his constituency were living in poverty.
Home Secretary James Cleverly (Picture: Rob Pinney/Getty Images)Home Secretary James Cleverly (Picture: Rob Pinney/Getty Images)
Home Secretary James Cleverly (Picture: Rob Pinney/Getty Images)

Before the PM could answer, Home Secretary James Cleverly was heard to remark, “because it’s a s**thole”.

James Not-Too-Cleverly denied saying anything at all, then changed his story to having referred to Cunningham as “a s**t MP”. So that’s alright then, is it? It’s wrong to call a town a s**thole but reasonable enough to call their MP a s**t?

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This led to days of claim and counter-claim. When Cunningham raised the matter in the Commons later that same day, there was an audible intake of breath from the MP sitting behind him and she appeared visibly shocked. As if she had never heard anyone ever describing Stockton as s**thole. I know quite a few people from Stockton who think the town is a s**thole. I even know people from Middlesbrough who think Stockton is a s**thole, and that’s saying something.

Cunningham is demanding an apology from Not-At-All-Cleverly. Also, since he is originally from Harthill, he’s probably something of an expert on s**tholes. Furthermore, as a Scot, he should point out that the correct pronunciation is not “s**thole” but actually “s**tehole”.

He then went on to make the accusation that the Home Secretary’s denial was untrue. The Deputy Speaker told him he could not use the word “untrue” in Parliament. In what barmy universe is it alright to call someone a s**t but not use the word “untrue”? Quite clearly Nobody-Thinks-Him Cleverly was lying but it’s against the Rules Of The House to call him a liar.

It’s exactly this type of antiquated procedure that turns ordinary people off politics. I personally would like to see much more plain speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions. It would have been a load more entertaining if Alex Cunningham, rather than complaining about unparliamentary language, had called Cleverly a f***ing w***er and offered him outside for a square go. It’s what everyone else is thinking, after all.

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