Christchurch MP Chris Chope has clarified why he called House of Commons waiters and waitresses, “servants” during a debate in Westminster on Friday.

His use of the word has caused consternation on social media sites and was the focus of a Sky News story.

Conservative Mr Chope told the Daily Echo people employed by the House of Commons were called “servants of the house”, hence his statement during questions in the Commons.

“It just shows how the use of language is different in the House. Someone employed by the House of Commons is called a servant of the house”, he said.