UK op­po­si­tion leader de­nies call­ing May a ‘stupid wo­man’

The Myanmar Times - Weekend - - Asean Focus -

BRI­TAIN’S main op­po­si­tion leader sparked a po­lit­i­cal furor Wed­nes­day after he was ac­cused of call­ing Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May a “stupid wo­man” in the House of Com­mons.

Labour Party leader Jeremy Cor­byn was caught on cam­era ap­pear­ing to mut­ter the in­sult dur­ing the prime min­is­ter’s weekly ques­tion-and-an­swer ses­sion.

He de­nied, it, say­ing in­stead that he had called Con­ser­va­tive law­mak­ers “stupid peo­ple.”

The al­ways-lively ses­sion was even more heated than usual, as law­mak­ers’ frus­tra­tions and di­vi­sions over Brexit boiled over into rau­cous shout­ing and per­sonal jibes. Bri­tain ex­pected to leave the Euro­pean Union on March 29 but law­mak­ers from many po­lit­i­cal stances are against May’s Brexit plan.

Con­ser­va­tive leg­is­la­tors yelled “Shame!” and “Dis­grace­ful!” at Cor­byn after the al­leged jibe.

“I did not use the words ‘stupid wo­man’ about the prime min­is­ter or any­one else, and am com­pletely op­posed to the use of sex­ist or misog­y­nist lan­guage in ab­so­lutely any form at all,” Cor­byn said.

The in­ci­dent came as Bri­tain’s Par­lia­ment at­tempts to end bul­ly­ing, abuse and sex­ual ha­rass­ment. Ear­lier this year, a cross-party work­ing group re­ported that one in five par­lia­men­tary work­ers had ex­pe­ri­enced or wit­nessed sex­ual ha­rass­ment in the pre­vi­ous year.

It’s not the first time a male po­lit­i­cal leader in Bri­tain has been ac­cused of us­ing sex­ist lan­guage.

In 2011, then-prime Min­is­ter David Cameron was ac­cused of sex­ism when he adopted a catch­phrase from a pop­u­lar com­mer­cial and told a fe­male law­maker to “calm down, dear.”

Wed­nes­day’s in­ci­dent also has echoes of Don­ald Trump brand­ing Hil­lary Clin­ton a “nasty wo­man” dur­ing the 2016 U.S. pres­i­den­tial cam­paign.

As British me­dia out­lets en­listed lipread­ers to try to de­ter­mine what ex­actly Cor­byn had said, ac­tor Rob Lowe was among those who of­fered their opin­ions on so­cial me­dia.

“FYI- I have to say, I saw Jeremy Corbin call the Prime Min­is­ter a “stupid wo­man” with my own eyes watch­ing on @Skynewspol­i­tics,” Lowe tweeted. – As­so­ci­ated Press

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