Monday, February 06, 2017

Women's Lib

During points of order in the House of Commons --

Emily Thornberry (Islington South and Finsbury) (Lab) On a point of order, Mr Speaker. First, is it in order for the Prime Minister to refer to a Member of this House not by her own name, but by the name of her husband? Secondly, for the record, I have never been a lady, and it will take a great deal more than being married to a knight of the realm to make me one. 

The Prime Minister (Mrs Theresa May) Further to that point of order, Mr Speaker. I did not in any way intend to be disorderly in this House, and if the hon. Lady is concerned about the reference that I made to her, then of course I will apologise for that. I have to say to her, though, that for the last 36 years I have been referred to by my husband’s name. [Interruption.]

The context is that May had bizarrely referred to Emily Thornberry as Lady Nugee, based on her husband's title, but not a name she has ever used. That her defence for the slip went to offering herself  as an example of giving up her family name is revealing about her concept of tradition.

The issue then got lost when the Speaker dropped his subsequent bombshell that he was blocking a Donald Trump visit to Westminster. 

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