Home Secretary James Cleverly has denied describing a Labour MP’s constituency as a “shithole” during Prime Minister’s Questions.

The comment could be heard from the Conservative benches after Alex Cunningham asked Rishi Sunak why 34% of children in Stockton were living in poverty.

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A voice can be heard on the video footage from the Commons saying “because it’s a shit hole.”

A number of Labour MPs, including Mr Cunningham, said they believed it was Mr Cleverly who made the comment.

Making a point of order in the Commons, he said: “Before the Prime Minister answered, the Home Secretary chose to add in his pennyworth. Yes, I have contacted his office advising him I planned to name him, but sadly he has chosen not to be in the chamber.

“He was seen, and heard to say ‘because it’s a shithole’. I know he is denying being the culprit, but the audio is clear and has been checked, and checked, and checked again.

“There is no doubt that these comments shame the Home Secretary, this rotten Government, and the Tory Party. He is clearly unfit for his high office.”

He asked how he would secure an apology from the Home Secretary for “his appalling insult and foul language”.

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Mr Cleverly’s spokesman said: “He did not say that, and would not. He’s disappointed people would accuse him of doing so.”

In response to Mr Cunningham's question on child poverty, Mr Sunak said: "It's this Government that has ensured that across our country 1.7million fewer people are living in poverty."

Mr Cunningham shouted back in return: "That's not true."

Mr Sunak said: "Yes, that is true. Not only that, hundreds of thousands fewer children are living in poverty and income inequality is at a lower level than we inherited from the party opposite.

"But we don't want any child to grow up in poverty and the best way to make sure that happens is to ensure they do not grow up in a workless household and that is why the right strategy is to ensure that we provide as many children with the opportunity with grow up with parents in work."