MP accused of being a ‘misogynist bully boy’ in clash he described as a ‘stream of abuse’
PUBLISHED: 15:06 19 March 2019 | UPDATED: 17:25 20 March 2019
A Norwich MP faced suggestions he was a “misogynist bully boy” during a Commons clash with a government minister.
Conservative frontbencher Claire Perry made the claim after Clive Lewis gesticulated and shouted as she responded to his question.
At one point, business minister Ms Perry asked if Mr Lewis was going to ask her to “get on my knees next” - a reference to a previous incident involving the Norwich South MP.
In 2017, Mr Lewis was criticised over a video in which he jokingly told a man to “get on your knees *****”.
But Mr Lewis said he asked a “perfectly legitimate question” and was answered with a “stream of abuse”.
Speaking during business, energy and industrial strategy questions, Mr Lewis criticised the Government’s rhetoric on climate change and asked if they would ever announce a cut in the “lavish support it doles out to its friends in the fossil fuel industry”.
Ms Perry replied: “It’s news to me that the Labour Party’s policy is to be anti the oil and gas industry that employs so many hundreds of thousands of people.
“And when it comes to rhetoric, [Mr Lewis] should just go and practise in front of the bathroom mirror.”
At this point Mr Lewis waved his arms in mock horror before laughing, with Ms Perry adding: “Perhaps he’s going to ask me to ‘get on my knees next’, Mr Speaker.
“What we do on this side of the House is focus on facts.”
Mr Lewis then shouted “maybe answer the question”, which prompted the minister to say: “He was very clear that he wasn’t a misogynist bully boy.
“I think his activity and behaviour today suggests quite the opposite.”
However Mr Lewis later said: “I asked what I believed to be a perfectly legitimate question in the chamber on the failings of the government’s renewable energy policy in relation to climate change.
“Instead of any kind of coherent answer, the minister instead decided a stream of abuse was more appropriate.”
On a later question, asked by Labour MP Dennis Skinner, Ms Perry said many people, including the GMB union, supported fracking.
This prompted Mr Skinner to shout “they’re wrong”, with Ms Perry replying: “He says the unions are wrong, that’s probably a first.
“If he’d stop yelling - crikey, I do have to say Mr Speaker, I feel desperately sorry for female members on the Opposition benches if this is how their colleagues treat them, being howled down, winked at - he’s not in his place (Mr Lewis) - and kisses blown after a question.”
Mr Lewis said allegations he blew kisses were “simply untrue”.