LONDON — A Conservative MP has been accused of “bullying” a female Labour MP, following an altercation in the voting lobbies of the House of Commons.
The House of Commons speaker on Thursday agreed to make inquiries after Labour MP Barry Sheerman alleged that a male Conservative MP had acted in a “bullying way” towards a female opposition MP.
“In all my years in this House I have never heard of a case of bullying in this House of one member against another,” Sheerman said.
“I have just heard of a case and I wondered whether as the House will not be sitting for some time now, but you will be here and I know you would not approve of in the environs of this house, one member acting in a bullying way to another.”
“This case is shameful. I’m not going to name names, but it’s a man, a government MP and an opposition MP, a female.”
Sheerman did not name names or expand further on the incident. However, Business Insider has heard from sources inside and outside Parliament that the two MPs in question are Conservative MP Jason McCartney and Labour MP Paula Sherriff.
McCartney, who is the MP for Colne Valley, got into an altercation with Sheriff when the two were in the voting lobbies together on January 11 this year.
Sources have told BI that McCartney approached Sherriff, who is a neighbouring MP in Dewsbury, about the issue of a local hospital. Both MPs are against the closure of the accident and emergency department at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary. When Sherriff declined to discuss it with McCartney, he is alleged to have shouted aggressively at her.
House of Commons security intervened after being called by Sherriff and the matter was later discussed with Conservative whips, after which McCartney apologised.
McCartney acknowledged the incident in a statement to Business Insider: “We had a heated exchange about the NHS in early January, for which we both apologised and it hasn’t been mentioned since,” he said.
“We have both since been working hard to save the A&E at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.”
A spokesperson for Sherriff declined to comment about the incident. However, one Labour source told Business Insider that it was not true that Sherriff had apologised to McCartney.
Responding to Sheerman’s comments, the House of Commons speaker John Bercow told MPs on Thursday that they all had to follow the code of conduct and added that he would make “inquiries” with the respective whips offices about the incident.
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