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Minister tells Labour MP ‘mother would be horrified’ at Commons interruption

Speaker John Bercow dismissed Claire Perry’s claim, saying Barry Gardiner would never engage in ‘anything quite so vulgar as chuntering’.

Tory minister Claire Perry dealt a stern telling-off to Labour’s Barry Gardiner after he interrupted her during a Commons question session.

Ms Perry told the shadow business minister that “his mother would be horrified by his level of discourtesy” after he vocally disputed her answer to a question — while she was still speaking.

She told him: “If he stopped chuntering perhaps he might learn something, most impolite, most impolite”, later adding: “He’s doing it again, his mother would be horrified by his level of discourtesy.”

Mr Gardiner had accused the Government of being on track to miss key climate strategy targets during Business questions.

Ms Perry told MPs her Government’s record on climate change had been a “great success story”, to Mr Gardiner’s dismay.

Speaker John Bercow later drew laughs after intervening on the exchange to defend Mr Gardiner, saying the frontbencher “never indulges” in chuntering but rather has a “penchant” for “the feline purr”.

He said: “I have to say to the minister, I don’t want to quibble with her but I think that (Mr Gardiner) never indulges in anything quite so vulgar as sedentary chuntering.

“I think he is occasionally given to facial expressions which are not prohibited by the standing orders of the House and he has a penchant for what might be described as, well, the feline purr.”

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