Tory accused of disrespecting late Sheffield MP

The late Harry Harpham MP.
The late Harry Harpham MP.

An unnamed Tory has been accused of "hugely disrespecting" a dead MP because they shouted "anymore?" after the by-election for the vacant seat was announced alongside another poll.

The comment came after Labour chief whip Rosie Winterton moved the writs in the House of Commons triggering May 5 polls in Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough and Ogmore in Mid-Glamorgan.

The Sheffield seat was left vacant by the death of Labour MP Harry Harpham, who died of cancer just nine months after being elected in the 2015 general election.

After Ms Winterton moved the writs, a Tory MP was heard shouting "got anymore?"

Labour's Liz McInnes described the comment as "hugely disrespectful" while Deputy Speaker Eleanor Laing said she was "taken aback" at the MP's behaviour.

Raising a point of order, Ms McInnes said: "Following the application this morning from the Opposition chief whip for elections in Ogmore and Sheffield Brightside, a member of the Government benches shouted out 'anymore?'

"The comment was hugely disrespectful to our late friend and colleague Harry Harpham and to his family and I seek your guidance as to how this situation may be addressed."

Ms Laing replied: "I'm quite taken aback by what you have said, I wasn't in the chamber at that point and so I have no personal knowledge of it.

"But if indeed any member of this House made a remark like that at a time when the writ was being moved after the death of a member of this House, they simply should not have done so.

"If no one else has told them they shouldn't have done so, I'm telling them now."

Mr Harpham's widow Gill Furniss will now contest the election in the seat formerly held by David Blunkett for Labour.

The former MP won his seat with 22,663 votes last May, a 56.6% share which beat Ukip with 22.2% and 8,856 votes into a distant second.

The Ogmore seat was left vacant by Labour's Huw Irranca-Davies, who stood down from the House of Commons in order to fight for a seat in the Welsh Assembly.

The by-elections will coincide with local government polls across the country.