PMQs Watch – Chuntering from a sedentary position

Corbyn negotiates with the chamber

Jeremy Corbyn (JC) had to negotiate with the chamber again yesterday during Prime Minister’s Questions. When he rose to speak there was a great deal of barracking and he sarcastically remarked that is was nice to get such a warm welcome:

JC: thank you mister speaker
Chamber: ((general noise))
JC: thank you mister speaker (.)
    it’s nice to get such a warm welcome
Chamber: ((shouts))
JC: ((observes Conservative benches, eyebrow shrug))
JC: if you would allow me for one moment

External link to clip

Reprimanding a heckler

One particular member who shouted out something inaudible received Corbyn’s wrath before being reprimanded by the Speaker.

JC: there was no mention either
Member: ((inaudible))
JC: ((stares at member))
JC: are you done?
SP: let me very gently say to the (.)
    dedicated prime minister’s (.)
    parliamentary private secretary
Chambers ((cheers of agreement))

External link to clip


The word ‘chunter’, meaning to ‘mumble, find fault’, has found favour with the Speaker, John Bercow, when he reprimands a member of the chamber.

SP: auditioning to be a statesman doesn’t
    include chuntering from a sedentary position man


The word first appeared in the House of Commons in 1950 but has become more frequent in recent years as shown by a search of the Hansard Corpus:



PMQs 21/01/2016

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