SPEAKER John Bercow landed himself in hot water yesterday with Portsmouth MP Penny Mordaunt after he appeared to refer to her as ‘not very attractive, but important’ during a question and answer session in the House of Commons.
Ms Mordaunt was left embarrassed by the Speaker’s ill-timed, though completely unintentional intervention, when he asked one of her colleagues to stop passing round a model of the chemical make-up of a new super lightweight and strong material called graphene.
Mr Bercow intervened, saying: ‘Of course, something unglamorous can be very important, I readily concede. Penny Mordaunt,’ he said, as he called the next question.
The gaffe prompted howls of laughter from MPs on all sides.
Mr Bercow said: ‘Order. I am delighted the House is in such a good mood. Penny Mordaunt.’
He then added: ‘I was referring to the item and not to a human being.’