Woodford Green MP Iain Duncan Smith apologises after calling Keir Starmer a ‘second rate lawyer’

PUBLISHED: 18:05 13 October 2016 | UPDATED: 18:05 13 October 2016

Iain Duncan Smith MP apologised for calling a Labour MP a

Iain Duncan Smith MP apologised for calling a Labour MP a "second-rate lawyer".


Woodford Green MP Iain Duncan Smith apologised yesterday for calling Labour’s shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer a “second-rate lawyer”.

On Monday in the House of Commons the Tory MP and Mr Starmer had been debating whether Parliament should vote on Britain leaving the European Union (EU).

Mr Duncan Smith told his colleague David Davis: “May I congratulate him on his statement and may I urge him to resist the temptation of advice from a second-rate lawyer who doesn’t even understand the parliamentary process.”

But yesterday in the Commons Mr Duncan Smith apologised to the Labour MP, who is a human rights QC and former director of public prosecutions.

He said: “Can I unreservedly withdraw the allegation I made on Monday – only on the basis that it was clumsy.

“It was not meant about him. It was meant about advice, and I don’t doubt for a moment his capabilities as a lawyer.”

Mr Starmer replied: “I’m grateful for that and I can assure him I wasn’t the slightest bit concerned.”

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