March 27, 2018
Speaker John Bercow says calling senior Labour MP ‘Lady Nugee’ was inappropriate

Boris Johnson has apologised after referring to the shadow foreign secretary, Emily Thornberry, as “Lady Nugee”. The Speaker of the House of Commons said the references, in relation to Thornberry’s husband, Sir Christopher Nugee, were sexist and inappropriate.
John Bercow drew applause from Labour MPs when he upbraided the foreign secretary at Foreign Office questions in the Commons. Johnson then said he wished to prostrate himself in front of the Speaker, and that he apologised for “any inadvertent sexism or discourtesy that you may have deemed me to have been guilty of”.
“And I heartily tender my apologies to the right honourable lady if she was offended by what I said and I meant no harm. And I apologise unreservedly to her if I have offended the feelings of the right honourable lady.”
Answering a question about the value of the Commonwealth, Johnson made an apparently disparaging remark about the Labour frontbench and aimed his comments at Thornberry.
Johnson said: “It is the most astonishing ... ‘no’ says the Labour frontbench, that’s their attitude, that’s their attitude, isn’t that extraordinary, this is an institution ... ‘Say no,’ says the noble and learned Lady Baroness whatever it is, I can’t remember what it is … Nugee.
“What an extraordinary thing. This is an institution that encompasses 2.4 billion people, some of the fastest growing economies in the world and we have an unrivalled opportunity to embrace them here in London and we’re going to do it.”
Bercow interrupted Johnson: “First, we do not name call in this chamber, and secondly ... we do not address people by the titles of their spouses. The shadow foreign secretary has a name and it is not ‘Lady Something’.
“We know what her name is and it is inappropriate and frankly sexist to speak in those terms, and I am not having it in this chamber. That is the end of the matter. That parlance is not legitimate and it will not be allowed, and it will be called out.”
Thornberry had earlier challenged the foreign secretary to say if the UK was prepared to take Russia to the international criminal court over the use of poison in the attempted murder of the the Russian double agent Sergei Skripal.
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