Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has been accused of calling Theresa May a "stupid woman" during Prime Minister's Questions today, as calls mounted for him to apologise.
The Prime Minister was mocking Corbyn during a clash over the government's Brexit deal, at which point he was caught on parliamentary cameras muttering words to himself.
Speaker John Bercow was asked by MPs after the debate to force the Labour politician to apologise, however Bercow said neither he or his aides had seen the alleged incident and so could not make a ruling immediately.
Corbyn said in a statement to MPs that he had instead uttered the phrase "stupid people", referring to others in the chamber who were not taking the debate seriously at the time.
This is the exchange between Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn at #PMQs that everyone's talking about, where the Labour leader appears to call the Prime Minister a 'stupid woman' pic.twitter.com/7NkHMDTVFx
— ITV News (@itvnews) December 19, 2018
The news marks the second clash between Corbyn and May this week, after the Labour leader tabled a motion of no confidence in the Prime Minister on Monday. He blasted the PM for the way she handled the vote on her Brexit deal, which has now been delayed until the new year.
May had lashed out at his attempt today, likening the move to a pantomime. Corbyn was seen to say something under his breath in response.
"Look behind you," she jeered, pointing at rows of MPs. "They are not impressed, and neither is the country."
The tables later turned on Bercow, as MPs on both sides of the house lined up to challenge his impartiality on the matter.
MP Anna Soubry said perhaps Bercow would have been more inclined to take immediate action against Corbyn had it been a Tory frontbencher discussing a female Labour MP. Similarly, commons leader Andrea Leadsom later highlighted how Bercow himself had failed to apologise to her, after calling her a "stupid woman" during an aside earlier this year.
Bercow told Leadsom he had already dealt with that matter, and wanted to wait until he had seen evidence of Corbyn's actions before producing a verdict.
Other female MPs also accused Bercow of misogyny, including Tory MP Vicky Ford who said she had heard the speaker call her a "stupid woman" in a previous session.
Bercow denied the allegation, saying: "If there is such an allegation, I refute it 100 per cent."