Andrew Bridgen Apologises After Comment About Paddy Ashdown

Andrew Bridgen, the Conservative MP for North West Leicestershire, has apologised in the House of Commons for a remark he made about the recently deceased Paddy Ashdown, the former Leader of the Liberal Democrats.

Layla Morgan, the Liberal Democrat MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, said in a point of order to the Speaker:

“On a point of order, Mr Speaker. As you are aware, at the beginning of Prime Minister’s questions when I was expressing my deep sadness at the loss of Lord Ashdown and his concern for the state of where we are now, the hon. Member for North West Leicestershire (Andrew Bridgen) loudly shouted from a sedentary position, “From the grave.” I find such a comment disgraceful, and I ask for guidance on how the hon. Gentleman might, for example, retract such a statement and on whether it was becoming of the sort of conduct that we should expect from Members of this House”.

John Bercow, the Speaker of the House of Commons, replied:

“I did hear those words. I did not hear a particular Member, and I did not see a Member mouth those words, but I did hear those words. I think it was most unfortunate that that was said. People sometimes say things instinctively and rashly, but it was most unfortunate. The hon. Lady was perfectly properly paying tribute to an extremely distinguished former Member of this House and someone that many would regard as an international statesperson. What was said should not have been said. If the person who said it wishes to take the opportunity to apologise, it is open to that person to do so”.

Andrew Bridgen then said:

“Further to that point of order, Mr Speaker. I will apologise for my remarks if any offence was caused to any Member of the House”.