David Cameron not homophobic, says minister amid row over use of word 'poncey'


David Cameron is not "homophobic", a Cabinet minister has said, after a Labour MP questioned the Prime Minister's use of the word "poncey" in reference to the pronunciation of Nigel Farage's name.

Mr Cameron praised Labour's Ben Bradshaw at Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday for pronouncing the Ukip leader's name the "English" way instead of the "rather poncey foreign-sounding one that he seems to prefer".

But Liz McInnes, the Labour MP for Heywood and Middleton, said many people believe the word "poncey" is homophobic.

"I am becoming increasingly concerned about the discriminatory language that has been used in the chamber just recently," she said during the Commons business statement.

"The Education Secretary recently called us, the Opposition, 'deaf', using deafness as a pejorative term, which I think is unacceptable.

"Yesterday the Prime Minister used the word 'poncey', which many people take to be homophobic.

"I wonder if we could have a statement about our duty under the Equality Act 2010 which includes the language that we use in this chamber."

However, Commons Leader Chris Grayling said the Prime Minister is "not somebody who could ever, ever be described as homophobic".

He said: "I think people will hear in words what they want to hear but what I would say is that the one thing nobody could accuse the Prime Minister of is homophobia. The man who brought to this House and saw through same-sex marriage is not somebody who could ever, ever be described as homophobic."