Labour MP apologises for sweary ‘outburst’ in Commons during Rwanda debate

Clive Lewis denied his language was directed at Commons staff  (PA)
Clive Lewis denied his language was directed at Commons staff (PA)

A Labour MP has apologised for an “outburst” after he was heard swearing in the Commons chamber.

Clive Lewis could be heard loudly saying “s***” before he walked out of the room, as MPs voted on the Government’s Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill.

But the Norwich South MP later said it happened after he received a message which “caused me some consternation and surprise” and was not directed at any particular individual.

Deputy Speaker Sir Roger Gale had told the chamber: “I’m informed that a Member swore at one of the doorkeepers this evening who on my instructions lock the doors.

“If that person is identified the consequences will be very severe.”

MPs have a time limit to vote during a division and doorkeepers are instructed to lock the doors to the voting lobby once this elapses.

But Mr Lewis later made a point of order to say: “I’d like to put on record if I could my apologies to the chamber, to members and members of staff, for an earlier outburst I had.

“If I could very quickly explain, I received a message which caused me some consternation and surprise to which I made an outburst in general at no-one specifically.

“If I could do it again I’d probably have said something like ‘my giddy aunt’, rather what did come out of my mouth, and for that I apologise.

“But just to clear the air and put on record the fact that it was directed at no-one in particular.”

Sir Roger replied: “I appreciate the honourable gentleman’s candour in identifying himself and the fullness of the nature of his apology, which is accepted.”