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Tory MP Andrew Bridgen apologises for ‘from the grave’ joke about Paddy Ashdown



A Conservative MP has apologised for joking about the death of Paddy Ashdown during a tribute to the late Liberal Democrat leader.

Andrew Bridgen (North West Leicestershire) shouted “from the grave” as Lib Dem MP Layla Moran told the Commons about the Brexit concerns Lord Ashdown expressed before his death.

The intervention from Mr Bridgen during Prime Minister’s Questions prompted cries of “shame” from opposition MPs, but Ms Moran continued with her question to the prime minister.

Lord Ashdown, 77, died in December after suffering from bladder cancer.

Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran raises a point of order following PMQs
Layla Moran said she found the comment ‘disgraceful’

Ms Moran raised a point of order with Speaker John Bercow afterwards, saying: “During my question, at the beginning when I was expressing my deep sadness at the loss of Lord Ashdown and his concern for the state of where we are now, (Andrew Bridgen) shouted loudly from a sedentary position ‘from the grave’.

“I find such a comment disgraceful.”

Mr Bercow responded: “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.”

Mr Bridgen then rose to say: “I will apologise for my remarks if any offence was caused to any members of the House.”

Paddy Ashdown says he joined the Lib Dems because "people should be empowered citizens, not subjects of a patronising state"
Lord Ashdown, 77, died in December after suffering from bladder cancer

Lord Ashdown led the Lib Dems from 1988 to 1999 and oversaw its growth into the third party in British politics.

The party said he would be remembered “as someone who made an immeasurable contribution to furthering the cause of liberalism”.

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