Lindsay Hoyles deputy clashes with Labours Sultana over dodgy Boris Johnson swipe

Eleanor Laing and Zarah Sultana clash over the word 'dodgy'

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Deputy Speaker Eleanor Laing and Labour MP Zarah Sultana have clashed over the politician’s use of the word “dodgy” in the House of Commons. Ms Sultana defended her language as she insisted “another word suffices the levels of corruption and what we’re seeing from this Government”. Boris Johnson has been facing serious backlash after the Government was forced into a humiliating U-turn on the creation of a new standards committee while whipping MPs to oppose the suspension of Owen Paterson.

Clashing in the Commons, Lindsay Hoyle’s deputy Eleanor Laing told Ms Sultana: “Could think of a different form of words. I don’t like the word ‘dodgy’.

“The Honorable Lady can make clear that she disagrees with what has happened. Perhaps you could put it in different words.

Labour MP Zarah Sultana responded: Thank you, Madam Deputy Secretary. I don’t think another word suffices the levels of corruption and what we’ve seen from this government.

So I think that term suffices.

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Ms Laing continued: Well, it doesn’t quite suffice.

I’m asking the Honorable Lady to moderate her language.

“It is absolutely in order to have a disagreement here. That’s why we’re here.

But we must moderate iron language and be careful of the adjectives that are used about one member by another. 

So perhaps the Honorable Lady could just put it in slightly different words.

The Labour MP replied: “Apologies, deputy secretary, Speaker sorry. 

I’m confused because I just think that I don’t have any other words to put it in that way.

I think it would suffice for the moment if the Honorable Lady would withdraw the words she’s used, namely, dodgy’.

Ms Sultana said: When I talk to my constituents..”

Eleanor Laing interjected: “No, no. Order! The Honourable lady misunderstands me.

“I’m asking her to withdraw the word of dodgy. I’ve given her the opportunity to put her question in other words. If she doesn’t want to take that opportunity, she doesn’t have to.



“Would you like to put her question in moderate lanuage?”


But the Labour MP recanted out of the House of Commons, writing on Twitter: “I thought I was being moderate by only calling them dodgy!”

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