LONDON — Labour MP Neil Coyle just described Theresa May’s government as a “government full of bastards” in middle of day two of Parliament’s debate on the Brexit bill.
Coyle, a staunch Remainer who intends to vote against the bill authorising May to trigger Article 50, borrowed a past quote from former Conservative MP John Major to condemn the current Tory government.
Major, who led the Tories and the country from 1993 to 1997, famously described three members of his shadow cabinet as “bastards” for their hardline Euroscepticism.
Channelling his inner Major, Coyle used his address to the Commons to criticise the government for pursuing a Brexit policy that he believes will leave the national economy and personal finances of Brits worse off.
Here’s what he said:
“I hear from people who are very worried about their future economic prospects. Young professionals who supported the Conservative Party at the last election who are now politically homeless. The former prime minister John Mayor referred to the likes of the former secretary for work and pensions as bastards. He could not have known that his party would become a whole government full of bastards who are absolutely causing economic damage for my constituents and for the whole country.”
“At the risk of offending my whole frontbench as well the government frontbench, I say this… My members campaigned vigorously to remain in the European Union and they deserve a frontbench position that’s not to sign up to the government’s position, the government’s timetable, and the government curtailing debate. It’s a disgrace.”
Commons speaker John Bercow described Coyle’s language as “unseemly, undignified, unnecessary” and instructed him to apologise. The MP Bermondsey & Old Southwark obliged.
Watch Coyle’s full address to the Commons:
It has been an eventful Wednesday afternoon for Coyle, who was earlier engaged in a fiery exchange of words with Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron. Coyle put to Farron that it was the decision of the Liberal Democrats to support the austerity agenda of the David Cameron-led coalition government that played at least some part in driving Brits to vote Leave in June. Farron responded by accusing Coyle of “speaking the language” of former UKIP leader Nigel Farage, prompting Coyle to yell “how dare you!” and “what a disgrace!”.
On Tuesday former Tory chancellor and staunch Europhile Ken Clarke delivered a memorable speech to the house, in which he described Theresa May’s party as “anti-immigrant” and mocked the optimism of Brexiteers who believe that Britain’s global standing will improve outside of the 28-nation bloc. You can watch Clarke’s speech here.
Tim Farron accuses Neil Coyle of “speaking the language of Nigel Farage”
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