Speaker Sexism Row: Bercow’s “Washing Machine” Jibe

 

John Bercow is facing accusations of sexism after comparing Esther McVey to a domestic appliance. The Standard reports:

He intervened when the former GMTV presenter and Wirral West MP was giving her 14th response during a work and pensions session to a question on mental health. But to the surprise of MPs, Mr Bercow then interjected: “I am reminded of the feeling when one thinks the washing machine will stop — but it does not!”

It led Ealing North Labour MP Stephen Pound to say: “A washing machine metaphor for a woman minister is seldom a good idea. Let’s see how he spins his way out of this one!”

While Angie Bray, Conservative MP for Ealing Central and Acton, also voiced consternation about the Speaker’s comment. “That’s unnecessarily rude. I’m not sure it’s for him to criticise the style in which she chooses to answer her questions,” she said.

Last year Bercow criticised other MPs for being “sexist, snobbish, yobbish” at PMQs. Once again the Speaker falls short of the standards he sets for others…

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