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Politics

15 Insults Banned In The House Of Commons

Don't even think about calling someone a git, guttersnipe, or ignoramus.

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MPs aren't allowed to be rude and insulting about their colleagues. It's up to the Speaker or one of their deputies to decide what is "unparliamentary language". And they can boot MPs out of the chamber if they refuse to take it back.
PA Wire

MPs aren't allowed to be rude and insulting about their colleagues. It's up to the Speaker or one of their deputies to decide what is "unparliamentary language". And they can boot MPs out of the chamber if they refuse to take it back.

1. Drunk

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An MP must never accuse another of being drunk – even if they have spent all evening in the Strangers bar. In 1987 Labour MP Frank Cook was forced to withdraw his jibe, replacing it with "half sober".

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2. Sleazebag

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Labour MP Brian Wilson was rebuked for using the word "sleazebag" in a feisty debate on car tax in 1995.

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3. Coward

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This was ruled out of order in a 1984 debate on the construction industry. Labour MP John Evans, now a peer, was the culprit.

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4. Hypocrite (and humbug)

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Tory MP Robert Adley fell foul of the rules by labelling an MP a "hypocrite" in 1976. He opted for "humbug" instead. But that didn't wash.

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5. Blackguard

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In 1948, Communist MP Willie Gallacher was forced to exit the chamber after calling Labour's Albert Bechervaise a "dirty blackguard".

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6. Git

Labour MP Brian Sedgemore, who later defected to the Lib Dems, didn't pull any punches with this remark in a 1985 debate on banking supervision.
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Labour MP Brian Sedgemore, who later defected to the Lib Dems, didn't pull any punches with this remark in a 1985 debate on banking supervision.

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7. Hooligan

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Veteran Labour MP Dennis Skinner has been told off a fair few times. In 1984 he was taken to task for branding opponents "hooligans".

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8. Rat

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Tory MP Norman Tebbit was blasted in 1976 for branding Nye Bevan a "rat". He changed it to "one of those who are lower than vermin".

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9. Swine

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Back in 1936, Tory MP Glyn Mason had to apologise for calling an MP a "swine".

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10. Sod

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Labour MP Bob Cryer came under fire in 1993 for branding Michael Heseltine a "clever little sod". At first he would only withdraw the word "clever".

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11. Liar

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Labour MP Frank Dobson repeatedly called Tory minister John Gummer a "liar" in a fractious 1996 debate. He withdrew it.

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12. Traitor

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Labour MP Maureen Colquhoun was taken to task for using this word in a 1976 debate.

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13. Buffoon

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Labour's Brynmor John called Tory John Stokes a "licensed buffoon" in 1976, which didn't go down very well.

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14. Ignoramus

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Insults are not a new thing. In 1896, Liberal MP John Logan was forced to withdraw the word "ignoramus".

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15. Guttersnipe

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In 1986 deputy speaker Harold Walker ruled that the word "guttersnipe", used by Labour's Robert Parry, was "discourteous".

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Emily Ashton is a senior political correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Emily Ashton at emily.ashton@buzzfeed.com.

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