Labour MP denies ‘squaring up’ to colleague in House of Commons

Posted On: 
20th November 2017

A Labour MP has denied “squaring up” to a colleague in the House of Commons last week, after an investigation was launched into his behaviour. 

Newcastle-under-Lyme MP Paul Farrelly denies squaring up to a colleague in the House of Commons
Credit: 
PA Images

According to the Mail on Sunday, Newcastle-under-Lyme MP Paul Farrelly “squared up” to fellow Labour MP James Frith and "launched a foul-mouthed tirade" at him.

Mr Farrelly has denied the incident but has admitted to having "brief, cross words" with two other colleagues Ruth Smeeth and Gareth Snell, who both represent neighbouring Stoke-on-Trent constituencies.

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The alleged confrontation reportedly took place in the voting lobby of the House of Commons after a late-night Brexit debate on Tuesday.

The Labour party has said it will investigate after receiving "a number of complaints."

But Mr Farrelly has since dismissed the Mail on Sunday’s story, saying it "seems to boil down to something about queue-pushing in Commons vote last week, and I have no idea what that's about".

The backbencher added that he would speak to Labour's Chief Whip about the alleged complaint as it was "the right thing to do".

Referring to the reported confrontation with Mr Frith, he continued: "That's not something I would say. That's absolute nonsense."

However, he conceded that "in the corridors of the House of Commons, I had brief, cross words with my Labour next door neighbours Ruth Smeeth and Gareth Snell about their... 'name the Brexit date' amendments".

"The fact we don't get on is an open secret," he said.

A Labour spokeswoman said: "A number of complaints have been made to the Chief Whip with regard to the behaviour of a Labour MP.

"These are being investigated in line with the standing orders of the Parliamentary Labour Party.

"It would therefore be inappropriate to comment further on this matter."