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PM makes light of 'calm down' row

Prime Minister David Cameron has made light of the "calm down, dear" row and accused the Labour Party of having no sense of humour.

Mr Cameron told an audience of Conservative activists in North Wales: "Don't worry, I'm not going to tell you to calm down."

To laughter and applause, he continued: "I don't know what it is about some people on the left. It seems that when they put the socialism in, they take the sense of humour out.

"I got home last night and my wife said to me 'What sort of day did you have, dear?' And I told her I was attacked by Harriet Harman and defended by Michael Winner and she said 'What on earth were you up to?'"

The row erupted on Wednesday after Mr Cameron aimed the remark at shadow Treasury chief secretary Angela Eagle during rowdy exchanges at Prime Minister's Question Time.

The Labour benches erupted in outrage, with shadow chancellor Ed Balls angrily gesticulating and party leader Ed Miliband appearing to demand an apology.

But the Prime Minister pressed on, telling them: "I said calm down, calm down, dear. I'll say it to you, if you like... I'm not going to apologise. You do need to calm down."

On ITV1's Daybreak, Ms Eagle said: "He just lost his rag, I think, and revealed himself in a way that perhaps his minders wouldn't have wanted him to. It was patronising but it wasn't something that surprises me about him. He's done it before in the House of Commons, especially when he's been on the back foot."

It later emerged that Mr Cameron previously used the "calm down, dear" line in the Commons to a male MP.

Mr Winner, meanwhile, said the uproar caused by Mr Cameron's use of his catchphrase was "ridiculous". "It's used by everybody," he said. "People come up to me in the street and in restaurants saying it. It's a totally harmless bit of fun."

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