Gosport MP defends prime minister Boris Johnson over his 'humbug' remark

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage. Picture: Habibur Rahman
Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage. Picture: Habibur Rahman
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Gosport’s MP has defended the prime minister as he comes under pressure to apologise for his use of language during Brexit debates.

Boris Johnson has been urged to apologise after he dismissed as ‘humbug’ an MP’s concerns about inflammatory language during a debate in Parliament on Wednesday. 

His remark came after the Dewsbury MP Paula Sherriff noted the number of death threats MPs receive. 

The Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage said the prime minister was in an 'incredibly high pressure' environment and was 'always going to get stick.'

Referring to his attendance at Wednesday’s debate in the House of Commons, she said: 'He had been in there for three and a half hours.

'It's incredibly high pressure, and it's the case you cannot censor everything that comes out of your mouth.'

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Ms Dinenage said threats she had received in the past were ‘all talk.’ 

She said: ‘I've been told before a surgery that I needed to watch my back, but nobody threatening turned up. It's all talk.'

Boris Johnson was also criticised for calling the law aimed at blocking a no-deal Brexit the ‘surrender bill’.

The Portsmouth North MP, Stephen Morgan, said 'inflammatory words' such as ‘betray’ and ‘surrender’ were 'a driving force' behind threats facing MPs.

He said: 'We find ourselves facing troubling times where inflammatory words such as betrayal and surrender have become commonplace in Parliament.

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'The significance of this cannot be underestimated.'

The prime minister told the BBC he was ‘deeply sorry for the threats that MPs face’ and it was important to support MPs.

Meanwhile Fareham MP Suella Braverman said she had been on the receiving end of ‘really horrendous’ abuse on social media, including sexist and racist remarks. 

She said: ‘When I make media appearances like Question Time, I have had really horrible stuff messaged to me, like “go back to where you come from”. In real life, most people are very respectful.’ 

Ms Braverman said the PM did not have to apologise for his response - and it was wrong for an MP to use Jo Cox’s memory to attack him. 

She said: ‘The prime minster has to defend himself when he gets mud slung at him. For an MP to use Joe Cox’s name in that way was wrong.’

She characterised his use of the term ‘surrender act’ as the ‘rough and tumble’ of politics.

She added: ‘It’s more of an outrage that the opposition has highjacked parliament.’