Labour accuses Home Secretary James Cleverly of derogatory remark about Stockton in PMQs

MPs in the House of Commons for Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday. Credit:

A Labour MP has accused Home Secretary James Cleverly of calling Stockton a "shithole" during Prime Minister's Questions.

Alex Cunningham claimed the slur had been used against his constituency in a response to a question on child poverty directed at the Prime Minister on Wednesday 22 November.

Mr Cleverly’s spokesman said: “He did not say that, and would not. He’s disappointed people would accuse him of doing so.”

The Stockton North MP asked the Prime Minister: “Why are 34% of children in my constituency living in poverty?”

In the audio of the interaction, as the Prime Minister took to the Despatch box, Labour said the Conservative MP could be heard to say “because it is a shithole”.

  • Alex Cunningham MP asks the Prime Minister a question on child poverty during PMQs Credit:

Mr Cunningham used what is known as a point of order in the House of Commons to make the accusation, during which he said Mr Cleverly was "clearly unfit for his high office".The Deputy Speaker said she made no judgement.

Chris McDonald, Labour's candidate for Stockton North said:  “This is a disgrace, but it lays bare what the Tories’ view of Teesside is.

“It also shows just what the Conservatives think of the reality facing families across the country.

“I am calling on local Tory councillor Niall Innes, Tory candidate for Stockton North, to condemn the remarks made in the House today.”

  • Alex Cunningham MP uses a point of order to demand an apology from Mr Cleverly over the accusation. Credit:

According to the Labour Party, child poverty levels in Stockton North are at 33.9%, an increase of 7.9% since 2014/15.

A Conservative spokesperson told ITV News: "No Conservative MP made any negative remarks about Stockton."

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