Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt delivered a Commons speech laced with smutty innuendo following a dare from Royal Navy officer friends, it has been reported.
The Tory Minister, who is also a Royal Navy reservist, used the word “cock” six times and “lay” or “laid” five times during the course of a speech she gave last year on the welfare of poultry.
But at an awards dinner last week, Ms Mordaunt - who has since been made a junior communities minister - disclosed that the real reason for making her address was a forfeit issued during a dinner in the officers’ mess, The Mail on Sunday reported today.
“Some of my Marine training officers at Dartmouth thought it would be a good idea to break my ladylike persona by getting me to yell particular rude words during the most gruelling part of our training,” she was quoted as saying.
“’They failed, but during our mess dinner at the end of the course, I was fined for a misdemeanour. The fine was to say a particular word, an abbreviation of cockerel, several times during a speech on the floor of the Commons, and mention all the names of the officers present.”
Ms Mordaunt, who has previously appeared on ITV’s diving contest Splash!, began her speech - which is recorded in Hansard - by saying: “The cause of hen and cock welfare is one raised with me by many constituents.”
She then went on: “In ‘The Good Life’ idyll one imagines several hens and a single proud cockerel, but one strutting coxcomb will lead to many chicks and what is to become of the male contingent with not a layer among them? I encourage people to consider homes for hens, but to think carefully about a coop for a cockerel.”
She finally concluded: “When we eventually head into spring, let us have no cock-ups on hen welfare.”
Ms Mordaunt was accused by Labour MP Kate Hoey of trivialising Parliament.
“’She should realise that the House of Commons is not a TV reality show. The public expects debates in the Chamber to be on matters of serious concern,” Ms Hoey told The Mail on Sunday.
“It is sad that she has misused it in this way - it sets a bad precedent.”