Mike Gapes MP clashed with a group of anti-London backwoods "neanderthal"Tory MPs over the London Local Authorities Bill in a debate on Wednesday 25 January .
Here is his exchange with Conservative Jacob Rees –Mogg and the subsequent points of order.
Mike Gapes (Ilford South) (Lab/Co-op): Has the hon. Gentleman or any of his colleagues who oppose this legislation had discussions with the Mayor of London about whether he thinks the Bill should be supported or blocked?
Jacob Rees-Mogg: I am very grateful for that intervention. The Mayor of London is a man whom I admire enormously and whose writ I should think runs across the whole of London and probably should run across the world. However, he stood down from this Parliament and it therefore is not fitting that his views should be authoritative. In this instance, I do not happen to know what they are.
Philip Davies: I certainly do not know what they are, but perhaps my hon. Friend ought to listen to the hon. Member for Ilford South (Mike Gapes) because no doubt he has just come from a meeting with the Mayor of London. He certainly was not here when we debated the first group of amendments, but he seems to think that this is very important.
Mike Gapes: I was watching the proceedings from my office, and I could not believe that any Members of Parliament who had the best interests of London at heart could possibly oppose the proposals, which are supported by Labour members, Conservatives and Liberal Democrats in local government all over London, as well as by the Greater London Authority. It is only neanderthals and people who have no idea of what is in the interests of our capital city who oppose the Bill.
Jacob Rees-Mogg: Now we see the true face of socialist authoritarianism coming into the House. Those people do not bother with debating in this Chamber. No, they sit watching television in their eyries above and then they condescend to come down and they deign in all their fine glory to say to us that we from Somerset, from Hertfordshire and from other great counties across the country should not have a say in the legislation that affects the law of the land. This is the type of authoritarianism and nanny-stateism that we have come to expect from the socialist……..
Mrs Anne Main (St Albans) (Con): On a point of order, Mr Speaker. I seek your guidance. Is it appropriate parliamentary language for a Member of Parliament to call other hon. Members neanderthals, particularly when they have not even been anywhere near the debate or participated or engaged in it? Do you think that that is a somewhat judgmental statement?
Mr Speaker: Well, I think if we are going to have a prohibition on judgmentalism, we are setting ourselves rather than exacting test. What I would say to the hon. Lady is twofold. First, I am not aware, though it is not relevant to the appropriateness of her point of order, who the target of this intended abuse was—although I could try to speculate about it—but secondly, if the target of the intended abuse is at least one Member that I can think of, I rather imagine that far from complaining about it, he will take it as the greatest possible compliment that has ever been paid to him.