A Labour MP has hit out at Prime Minister David Cameron for using the term ‘poncey’… and attacked Equalities Minister Nicky Morgan for using the word ‘deaf’.
The PM made the comment in jest during Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday, when Labour MP Ben Bradshaw referenced UKIP leader Nigel Farage – pronouncing his name Farridge.
Mr Cameron joked: “I am glad the right hon. Gentleman takes the English pronunciation of Farage, rather than the poncey, foreign-sounding one that he seems to prefer.”
The Oxford English Dictionary lists the term ‘ponce’ as “a derogatory term for an effeminate man”, while ‘poncey’ is separately listed as “pretentious or affected”.
Though neither Mr Farage nor Mr Bradshaw – who is openly gay – seemed to take offence to the gag, Labour’s Liz McInnes complained about the word in the Commons today.
The MP for Heywood and Middleton said: “I am becoming increasingly concerned about the discriminatory language that has been used in the Chamber recently.
“The Education Secretary recently called us – the Opposition – ‘deaf’, using deafness as a pejorative term, which is unacceptable.
“Yesterday the Prime Minister used the word ‘poncey’, which many people take to be homophobic. May we have a statement about our duty under the Equality Act 2010, which includes the language that we use in this Chamber?”
Leader of the House Chris Grayling refuted any suggestion that the PM – who has cited same-sex marriage as one of his proudest achievements – was anti-gay.
He said: “I think that people will hear in words what they want to hear.
“The one thing that nobody could accuse my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister of is homophobia.
“The man who brought to this House and saw through same-sex marriage is not somebody who could ever be described as homophobic.”