Glossary items matching unparliamentary

“Unparliamentary Language”

Unparliamentary language is language that breaks the rules of politeness in the House of Commons Chamber. Part of the Speaker's role is to ensure that MPs do not use insulting or rude language and do not accuse each other of lying, being drunk or misrepresent each other's words. Words to which objection has been taken by the Speaker over the years include blackguard, coward, git, guttersnipe, hooligan, rat, swine, stoolpigeon and traitor. The Speaker will direct an MP who has used unparliamentary language to withdraw it. Refusal to withdraw a comment might lead to an MP being disciplined. MPs sometimes use considerable ingenuity to get around the rules; for example Winston Churchill famously used the phrase "terminological inexactitude" to mean "lie".


Results 1–20 of 1000 for unparliamentary

Oral Answers to Questions — Public Appointments (Ministers' Recommendations) (6 Nov 1947)

Mr Winston Churchill: On a point of Order. We are now on the question of what is a Parliamentary expression and what is not. I was always brought up to believe that "lie" was an unparliamentary expression, but greater latitude has been given to that in late years. "Liar" is unparliamentary, but "lie" has often hitherto apparently been passed. The hon. Member below the Gangway, very properly, withdrew his...

Orders of the Day — Finance Bill: Clause 42. — (Selective Employment Tax.) (27 Jun 1966)

Sir Douglas Glover: On a point of order, Sir Eric. The hon. Gentleman has now withdrawn the expression, but I had not thought there was anything unparliamentary in the word "dumb" or in the word "head". [HON. MEMBERS: "Wrong again".] Quite honestly, Sir Eric, I do not think there is anything very unparliamentary in the word "shocking" either. It is only what one would expect from the hon. Member for Central...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Assembly Business (14 May 2001)

Lord John Alderdice: A remark can be unparliamentary only if it refers to other Members. If, as Dr Paisley has clarified, he was referring not to Mr Adams but to the man whom Mr Adams was quoting, then the remark cannot be deemed to be unparliamentary. Dr Paisley also rose on a point of order, contending that the remarks were not true and that they were an incorrect quotation of him. That in itself would be...

Points of Order (30 Mar 2011)

John Bercow: I can deal with the point very simply. I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his point of order. The short answer is that nothing unparliamentary was said, but for the benefit of the hon. Gentleman and of the House, let me make clear what a lot of hon. Members know, but some perhaps do not. To accuse someone of misleading the House is unparliamentary and a breach of order. The use of the...

Northern Ireland Assembly: Assembly Business: Committee Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson Changes: DUP (30 Jun 2009)

Ian Paisley Jnr: ...with the Speaker this morning and have made him aware that I intend to raise this point of order. Yesterday, in the Chamber, one Member accused another of being, in effect, a liar when he used the unparliamentary term “seriously misleading to the Assembly.” — [Official Report, Vol 42, No 5, p234, col 1]. I have asked the Speaker to examine the record, given his ruling of 19 November...

Unparliamentary Language (MR. Speaker's Ruling) (30 Jan 1976)

Mr Selwyn Lloyd: I said last night that I would examine the report of the debate on employment, in the course of which it was alleged that unparliamentary language had been used by the hon. Member for West Stirlingshire (Mr Canavan). I have done so. There is no reference in Hansard to the use of the words "racialist swine" by the hon. Member, although he admitted using the word "racialist". That is not in...

Orders of the Day — Private Members' Bills (21 Feb 1975)

Robin Cook: ...the vigorous and rude gesture made by the hon. Member for Glasgow, Hillhead (Mr. Galbraith) towards myself and my hon. Friend the Member for Keighley (Mr. Cryer). It was a gesture which was clearly unparliamentary. Although all such expressions are referred to in "Erskine May" as unparliamentary language, I think that the gesture clearly carried a force which could normally be expressed in...

Points of Order (19 Jul 1993)

Mr Tony Banks: On a point of order, Madam Speaker. During Welsh questions, you ruled as unparliamentary the expression "stool pigeon", as it is your right to do. The matter can be confusing at times. I refer hon. Members to pages 381–2 of "Erskine May" so tht they can decide what is an unparliamentary expression. "Erskine May" used to contain a list of unparliamentary words such as "blackguard",...

Orders of the Day — Second Schedule. — (Section 1 (2) of and the Schedule to the Principal Act as amended by this Act.) (17 Jul 1946)

Mr Douglas Clifton Brown: It statements are made which are unparliamentary, it is the duty of the Chair to deal with the matter, whether they are made by the noble Lord or any other hon. Members. An accusation of discourtesy, however, is not unparliamentary.

Foreign Affairs (10 Dec 1948)

Mr Douglas Clifton Brown: The hon. Gentleman is not entitled to ask in an unparliamentary manner. These interruptions are very much to be deprecated. They cause a lot of heat and do not advance the truth any further, and they are unparliamentary.

Orders of the Day — Finance Bill (16 Nov 1955)

Mr Arthur Lewis: On a point of order. The hon. Lady said she has a quotation that she cannot use because it may be unparliamentary. With respect, Sir Charles, how do you know whether, it is unparliamentary or not until she has made it?

Orders of the Day — Finance Bill: Charge of Income Tax for 1978–79 (10 May 1978)

Mr George Thomas: Order. I must contradict the hon. Gentleman. If I say that it is an unparliamentary expression, it is an unparliamentary expression. I hope that the hon. Gentleman, with his customary courtesy, will take my point and withdraw that expression.

Orders of the Day — Police and Criminal Evidence Bill (7 Nov 1983)

Mr Ernest Armstrong: Order. There was nothing unparliamentary in that. I shall decide what is parliamentary or unparliamentary. The hon. Member for St. Helens, South (Mr. Bermingham) must not, however, address all his comments to me personally.

Orders of the Day — Local Government (Interim Provisions) Bill: Number of Councillors to Be Appointed by Constituentcouncils (22 May 1984)

Mr Paddy Ashdown: On a point of order, Mr. Dean. I thought that I heard the hon. Member for Islington, North (Mr. Corbyn) use what I regard — I hope that the Committee also regards—as unparliamentary language. May I seek your advice because I think I heard the hon. Gentleman use a thoroughly unparliamentary expression?

Orders of the Day — Budget Resolutions and Economic Situation (20 Mar 1985)

Mr Bernard Weatherill: The hon. Gentleman knows the answer. He used two words that are unparliamentary. The Chief Secretary has not used any words that are unparliamentary.

The Leader of the Opposition (1 Dec 1986)

Dennis Skinner: No. The word is not unparliamentary. The Leader of the House has said that it is not unparliamentary. I am prepared to substitute "wally" for it.

Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister: Engagements (5 Feb 1987)

Mr Bernard Weatherill: The hon. Gentleman knows perfectly well that the word liar is unparliamentary. Unilateral disarmament or unilateral nuclear disarment are not unparliamentary terms.

Northern Ireland Assembly: Executive Committee Business: Consideration Stage (20 Jan 2009)

Peter Robinson: On a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker. Can I ask you to look at the unparliamentary comments of the Member? To accuse me of deceit is unparliamentary, and the comment should be withdrawn.

Judiciary, Senior Officers of Armed Forces and Public Servants (Salaries) (8 Dec 1970)

Dr Horace King: The hon. Gentleman is quite in order in asking what he has done. The fact that a right hon. Member or an hon. Member accepts an expression which the House deems unparliamentary does not automatically make that unparliamentary expression parliamentary. I did not think that the Prime Minister was impugning the honour of the Leader of the Opposition.

Northern Ireland Assembly: Assembly: Unparliamentary Language (20 Mar 2001)

Lord John Alderdice: ...the remark to another Member for having raised a point of order on the matter. I have considered the matter carefully, and I am not aware of a precendent set elsewhere clarifying such a remark as unparliamentary language. That said, I find it inconceivable that such a remark could be regarded as anything other than a term of abuse. While I wish to ensure that we have robust debate in the...


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