Daily Mirror

Stockton people livid over Home Secretary ‘insult’

- BY ASHLEY COWBURN Political Correspond­ent and JEREMY ARMSTRONG

RESIDENTS have reacted with fury after Home Secretary James Cleverly was accused of calling part of their home town a “sh**hole”.

The Tory Cabinet minister denied using the derogatory term to describe the North

Stockton constituen­cy in County Durham.

It came at PMQs after Stockton North MP Alex Cunningham asked Rishi

Sunak why children in his constituen­cy are growing up in poverty.

MPs in the chamber claimed Mr Cleverly had shouted that it was because it is a “sh**hole”.

But a source close to Mr Cleverly said: “James made a comment. He called Alex Cunningham a sh** MP. He’s campaigned in Stockton and is clear that it is a great place.”

Julie Cooper, 59, who runs Stockton’s Don Bar dedicated to former military personnel said:

“It is an insult to the town’s war veterans who served their country and the pensioners who are struggling to get by.

“We have thousands who fought for their country lin this area.

“I am proud to be from Stockton, the people who live here are very proud people. We lost many heavy industries, we lost many jobs as a result of that. But we are working hard to recover.” Council leader Bob Cook called for an apology for the “disgusting” remark. He said: “I’ve lived here all my life. It’s a good place to live.”

Ben Houchen, the Conservati­ve Mayor for Tees Valley, criticised the “childish and unprofessi­onal” language used.

In a statement he said: “I’m not interested in excuses. The Home Secretary should apologise for dragging Stockton’s name through the mud.” Downing Street last night said the PM retains full confidence in the Home Secretary. Mr Cunningham said on Wednesday he was “assured” that the comment about his constituen­cy had been made by the Conservati­ve Cabinet Minister.

He said the audio of the comment which later circulated on social media was “clear”. Shadow Commons leader Lucy Powell said: “Besmirchin­g another honourable member’s constituen­cy goes against all the courtesies of this place and it is utterly disrespect­ful to their constituen­ts.”

People who live here are proud. We’ve lost many jobs


 ?? ?? PRETTY Fountain at Stockton Town Hall
PRETTY Fountain at Stockton Town Hall
 ?? ?? OFFENCE Mr Cleverly, the Home Secretary
OFFENCE Mr Cleverly, the Home Secretary

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