HC Deb 09 February 1993 vol 218 c831 3.59 pm
Mr. Barry Porter (Wirral, South)

On a point of order, Madam Speaker. I am not given to making specious points of order, but, during exchanges in Prime Minister's Question Time, I distinctly heard, and I have no doubt that you did also, the word "pillock" being used by the hon. Member for Worsley (Mr. Lewis) from a sedentary position—not once, not twice, not thrice but four times. I was not sure whether it was a generic term of abuse of the Government Front Bench or a specific term for the Prime Minister.

As I was brought up in a fairly genteel society, I am not sure what the word means, but even if it means what I think it means, could I have your ruling, Madam Speaker, whether "pillock" or "pillocks" is an appropriate parliamentary term? I raise the matter only because there are times when we might resort to the language of ladies and gentlemen rather than to the language of hooligans.

Madam Speaker

I certainly agree with the hon. Gentleman's last remark. From time to time, our language deteriorates. However, the hon. Gentleman is not quite correct in one aspect. I certainly heard no such word used; otherwise I would have called it to the attention of the hon. Member who used it. I do not know what the word means—I do not wish to know what the word means—but I find it rather ugly, and I prefer it not to be used.

Mr. Dennis Skinner (Bolsover)

Further to that point of order, Madam Speaker. I was sitting much closer to my hon. Friend the Member for Worsley (Mr. Lewis) than the hon. Member for Wirral, South (Mr. Porter) was. 'When the Prime Minister was talking about a matter for the receivers, my hon. Friend and others, including myself, shouted "hypocrisy" several times at the Prime Minister, and we meant it. I believe that to be in order, but I did not hear the other word. [Interruption.]

Madam Speaker

Order. This is not confession time. We must move on now.

Mr. Terry Lewis (Worsley)

Further to that point of order, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker

The hon. Member for Worsley (Mr. Lewis) has just dashed into the Chamber, in an attempt, no doubt, to defend himself. Of course I must hear his point oforder.

Mr. Lewis

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I understand that certain words were attributed to me during Prime Minister's Question Time. I am not absolutely certain what words were used, but I put it to you, Madam Speaker, to the House and to the country that, when the Prime Minister treats the workers of Leyland DAF in such an offhand, arrogant way, anybody of reasonable mind would accept any words that werespoken.

Madam Speaker

Whatever the exchanges in the House, English is a very rich language. I hope that we select it very carefully, however upset and excited we might become in ourexchanges.