Schoolchildren were left giggling after the “Crapita” nickname of a key Government contractor was aired in Parliament, amid calls for it to hand back army recruitment.
Tory former minister Mark Francois took aim at Capita over its handling of the military contract, telling the Government it was a “serious blot” on the company’s record.
He added the firm was “now known universally in the army as Crapita” due to its “very poor performance” on the contract.
Mr Francois added: “Would he (Cabinet Office minister Oliver Dowden) accept from me that while nobody wants to see Capita go bust because of all the jobs that would be lost, equally we can’t have an army without recruits, and therefore this is one contract that Capita honourably should hand back?”
Speaker John Bercow responds to the second "Crapita" reference in as many days in the Commons... pic.twitter.com/6AofY8gSMn— Richard Wheeler (@richard_kaputt) April 24, 2018
Speaker John Bercow intervened to note: “His second reference to the rather unfortunate nickname of the company concerned has just caused some merriment amongst school students upstairs – a point I have noticed.
“They clearly found it very funny, as did I, so (Mr Francois) may be a celebrity amongst those students – not to mention, of course, in his own constituency and in many other parts of the country.”
Mr Dowden added: “My children are aged six and eight, and – on the off-chance they happen to tune into this later – I will make sure I do not repeat that word as I wouldn’t want to hear it around our breakfast table.”
The minister recognised there have been problems with Capita, adding: “(The Ministry of Defence) and Capita have agreed an improvement plan, and in this contract between MoD and Capita I understand this plan is in place and they are looking to deliver on it.
“So I am confident they are making steps in the right direction although I do not deny the problems we’ve had in the past.”