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‘You are utterly obsessed with this’: Angry Corbyn digs at journalists

Jeremy Corbyn lashed out at journalists asking him whether he branded the PM a ‘stupid woman’ today.

A clearly furious The Labour leader accused the media of being ‘utterly obsessed’.

Asked on Thursday morning by a BBC reporter whether the language he used was ‘respectful’, he replied: ‘I muttered it to myself, actually, in Parliament and you and your colleagues in the media seem utterly obsessed with this.

‘The fact that a homeless man died outside Parliament has got no coverage whatsoever, and it should.’

MailOnline has extensively covered the death of Gyula Remes yesterday, alongside all other national media. 

Mr Corbyn added: ‘The respectful nature of Parliament is important and a whole load of Tory MPs turning the issue of a no-deal Brexit into a pantomime, that is serious.’ 

Meanwhile, a senior No 10 source said Theresa May backs Andrea Leadsom’s decision to drag Commons Speaker John Bercow into the toxic sexism row.  

Jeremy Corbyn lashed out at journalists asking him whether he branded the PM a ‘stupid woman’ today

The bitter spat erupted yesterday as Mrs May and Mr Corbyn traded blows over Brexit in the Commons.

The premier accused Mr Corbyn of descending into ‘pantomime’ with threats of a no-confidence vote, saying even his own party was not behind him.

But as the PM sat down to cheers, Mr Corbyn seemed to mutter: ‘Stupid woman.’

MailOnline has extensively covered the death of Gyula Remes yesterday, alongside all other national media.

MailOnline has extensively covered the death of Gyula Remes yesterday, alongside all other national media.

Amid a furious storm in the Commons and across Westminster, Mr Corbyn denied the remark – insisting he actually said ‘stupid people’ in frustration at the panto jokes. 

Mr Leadsom effectively accused Mr Corbyn of lying today by insisting he did brand the PM a ‘stupid woman’.

The Commons leader made clear she did not believe the Labour leader’s denial of muttering the sexist jibe under his breath at PMQs.

Mrs Leadsom has also dragged the Speaker into the row, seizing on the fury over Mr Corbyn to remind Mr Bercow her had made the same ‘stupid woman’ jibe about her.  

A senior No 10 source told MailOnline Mrs May understands ‘Andrea feels very strongly about this – and rightly so’. 

The Tories have feuded with Mr Bercow for years and Mrs Leadsom has had a series of personal clashes in recent months.

Despite the conflict, Downing Street and Mrs May have so far refused to intervene directly on Mr Bercow’s handling of bullying and sexism allegations in Parliament. 

The Tory intervention came as Diane Abbott tried to shrug off mounting fury by arguing ‘nobody knows’ what he really said, and accusing MPs of ‘confected’ rage. 

Jeremy Corbyn

Theresa May

The bitter spat erupted yesterday as Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn (left) traded blows over Brexit in the Commons 

Mr Corbyn’s remark was not picked up on microphones, but politicians from both sides of the House were in little doubt what he said – as were multiple lipreaders.

Bizarrely, Hollywood actor Rob Lowe also waded in to the row, saying he had seen the insult on TV ‘with my own eyes’. 

The PMQs spat that pushed Corbyn over the edge  

Corbyn: ‘There is no majority in this House for no-deal. 

‘Isn’t this just a deeply cynical maneuver from a failing and utterly reckless prime minister?’

May: ‘I know it’s the Christmas season and the pantomime season but what do we see from the Labour frontbench and him. 

‘He’s going to put a confidence vote – ‘oh yes he is. Oh no he isn’t’. 

‘I’ve got some news for him, I’ve got some advice for him. 

‘Look behind you. They’re not impressed and neither is the country.’

Corbyn: (Shakes his head and appears to mutter ‘stupid woman’. 

However, hauled back to the House to explain himself, Mr Corbyn flatly denied uttering the words.

‘I did not use the words ‘stupid woman’ about the Prime Minister or anyone else,’ he said.

Speaker John Bercow said he had consulted ‘lip speakers’ – people who can hear but interpret for deaf people – and they believed Mr Corbyn probably did deliver the slur, but no-one could be ‘100 per cent’ certain. 

Mr Bercow said he had to take the Labour leader’s word about what he said.

As the Speaker is the final arbiter of behaviour in the Commons chamber, the ruling effectively shuts down and route for disciplining Mr Corbyn over the row. 

Interviewed on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this morning, Mrs Leadsom said standards of behaviour in the chamber had to improve.

Asked if she believed Mr Corbyn’s denial, she said: ‘I think he said stupid woman. That is how it looks to me.’ 

Ms Abbott said Tory MPs had ‘put on a display yesterday which Hackney primary school children would have been ashamed of’.

She told Today that Mr Corbyn was an honest man and ‘if he has something to say sorry for he will always say sorry’.

She added: ‘Nobody really knows what he said, certainly they (MPs) did  not know what he said at the time.

Which other MPs have been accused of sexist remarks in the Commons?

David Cameron telling Angela Eagle to ‘calm down dear’: In April 2011 the former PM was slammed for jeering at Ms Eagle as she heckled him alongside Ed Miliband. 

Jeremy Corbyn ‘mansplaining’ International Women’s Day to Theresa May: The last time Mr Corbyn got into trouble at PMQs, he told Mrs May it was IWD when she had not mentioned it herself – prompting her to snap back that he did not need to remind her.

Boris Johnson calls Emily Thornberry by her husband’s name: During a furious clash, the ex-Foreign Secretary was told off John Bercow for mocking his Labour shadow as ‘Lady Nugee’ – her formal title but one which she does not use professionally.

William Hague brands a Labour MP a ‘stupid woman’: The jibe has been used before when the ex-Tory leader attacked Labour’s Cathy Jamieson in 2013. He later apologised.  

John Bercow compared Esther McVey to a washing machine: The Speaker has been repeatedly accused of sexist remarks. In 2015 he cut off the then Employment Minister to quip ‘I’m reminded of the feeling when one think the washing machine will stop but it doesn’t’. He apologised. 

John Bercow brands Andrea Leadsom a ‘stupid woman’: Bercow was in trouble again in May this year when he was overheard criticising Mrs Leadsom to Labour’s chief whip Nick Brown. The Commons Leader hurled it back at him during today’s furious exchanges.

‘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 are not staging a mini-riot over the tens of thousands of people who are newly on Universal Credit and are facing Christmas with no money.’ 

As the row erupted last night, Mr Bercow told MPs: ‘I have looked at the television footage of the leader of the opposition reacting to the Prime Minister, allegedly saying ‘stupid woman’ to those seated next to him. 

‘Having heard the allegation against the leader of the opposition and having watched the footage it is easy to see why the leader of the opposition’s words might be construed as ‘stupid woman’. 

‘That was also the opinion of lip speakers – and I emphasis lip speakers rather than lip readers – whose advice was sought and obtained at short notice.’ 

‘Nobody can be 100 per cent certain, that includes professional lipreaders. But I will naturally take and would be expected to take, the word of any right honourable or honourable member. ‘It’s reasonable to expect the House to do the same.’ 

But in an extraordinary intervention in the Commons, Tory MP Rachel Maclean responded: ‘Read my lips… I don’t believe him.’  

Labour MPs were among those to criticise Mr Corbyn.

Backbencher Stella Creasy said: ‘This is not ok. PMQs is a hotbed of emotions but I hope that Jeremy will accept this kind of behaviour isn’t his normal good nature or what we expect of progressive men.’ 

Even shadow trade secretary Barry Gardiner suggested Mr Corbyn might have said the words.  

‘I am not a lipreader, but it certainly seemed that might have been it,’ he told BBC Politics Live. 

Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom

Mr Corbyn pictured at his London home this morning

Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom (pictured left today) made clear she does not believe Mr Corbyn (pictured right at his London home this morning)

Diane Abbott tried to shrug off mounting fury by arguing 'nobody knows' what he really said, and accusing MPs of 'confected' rage

Diane Abbott tried to shrug off mounting fury by arguing ‘nobody knows’ what he really said, and accusing MPs of ‘confected’ rage

Lip reading experts consulted by the Daily Mail reviewed the footage frame by frame to conclude Mr Corbyn's mouth movements clearly spelled out W-O-M-A-N, not 'people'

Lip reading experts consulted by the Daily Mail reviewed the footage frame by frame to conclude Mr Corbyn’s mouth movements clearly spelled out W-O-M-A-N, not ‘people’

An array of lipreaders publicly gave their verdict on what Mr Cobyn said last night. 

But only one expert quoted agreed with the Labour leader’s version – that he said ‘stupid people’ to the Tory benches in general rather than ‘stupid woman’ to Mrs May.

But that opinion was outvoted by the lipreaders who said – judging by the shape of his mouth – they thought Mr Corbyn said ‘woman’.

His denial has sparked further outrage, including from Piers Morgan, who has asked why anyone should trust a further word out of the Labour leader’s mouth if he is happy to deny something ‘we can all see he did’.

Among the lipreaders consulted about Corbyn’s comments, their verdict broke down as follows :

For the prosecution:

  • Famous deaf percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie, who can read lips, is quoted by BBC Radio, The Sun, the Mirror, the Express, the Guardian, the Times,  and in our own report for MailOnline she was ‘very certain’ he had said woman.
  • Her comments came via Tim Johns, who produces the Jeremy Vine show on BBC radio, and who tweeted: ‘I just showed Evelyn Glennie, the famous percussionist, the footage of Jeremy Corbyn in the Commons. She’s deaf and can lip read. She wasn’t aware of the story and her interpretation of what he said was ‘stupid woman’. She says she’s very certain.’
  • Sky News reports the consensus of a ‘team’ of lip readers contradicted Labour’s denials, and that Mr Corbyn did indeed call the PM a ‘stupid woman’. Sky says its experts, including former expert witness forensic lip reader Tina Lannin, have concluded the mouth shape for ‘wo’ for woman is unmistakeable.
  • Speaker John Bercow said he had consulted ‘lip speakers’ who believed the word was ‘woman’, but he added he himself accepted the Labour leader’s denial.
  • West Wing actor Rob Lowe, who is deaf in one ear, also waded into the row, tweeting he had seen Mr Cobryn ‘say it with his own eyes’.

For the defence:

  • Forensic lip-reader Jessica Rees told the Mirror: ‘It’s very clear if you lipread him he’s saying ‘stupid people’.’