AI has been used to analyse and clean up audio of comments in which the Home Secretary is alleged to have called Stockton a 's***hole', The Mirror reported today (Sunday November 26).

Alex Cunningham, the Stockton North MP, has called on James Cleverly to "pack his bags" in the light of expert views of the alleged slur, based on new evidence after AI analysis of the parliamentary exchange.

The Home Secretary was today said to be maintaining his denials that he insulted the Teesside town during Prime Minister’s Questions, on Wednesday (November 22).

Having apologised for his “unparliamentary language”, he repeated that he was actually referring to the Stockton North Labour member, Mr Cunningham as, a “s*** MP”, and not commenting on the town.

The alleged remark has attracted an outcry, particularly from townsfolk in Stockton, and Mr Cleverly has been branded “unfit for high office” by Mr Cunningham.

The Northern Echo: Stockton North MP Alex Cunningham, left, has called on Home Secretary James Cleverly to "pack his

As the issue lingers on, The Mirror today (November 26) said AI has helped to clean up the audio recording of the comments made during the House of Commons exchanges.

It is said to have been similar technology used to enhance the original John Lennon recording to create the new Beatles’ release, Now and Then.

The newspaper used similar technology to improve the official parliamentary recording, separating MPs voices from the background noises of the Commons’ debate during PMQs.

Mr Cunningham is heard asking Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to explain why, “34-per cent of children in my constituency are living in poverty.”

Ahead of Mr Sunak’s reply, a voice is said to be heard apparently saying, “because it’s a s***hole.”

It led to uproar among opposition MPs and the populace of Stockton.

Mr Cunningham called on the prominent Conservative front bencher, only recently promoted to the Home Secretary role, to apologise for the remark.

Ben Houchen, the Conservative Mayor for the Tees Valley, also said Mr Cleverly should apologise for, “dragging Stockton’s name through the mud”, describing his comments as, “unprofessional" and “childish”.

In the wake of the House of Commons exchanges, supporters of Mr Cleverly claimed he did not make the remark alleged about Stockton.

Although the Home Secretary conceded using “unparliamentary language”, a spokesman said the derogatory remark was aimed at Mr Cunningham and not at the Stockton North constituency.

That assertion was repeated today (Sunday November 26) when a source close to the Home Secretary said: “He has been clear what he actually said.

"No amount of analysis will change the fact Mr Cleverly targeted the MP for criticism, not his constituency. No one could prove in any way something that categorically was never actually said."

Matt Vickers, the Conservative MP for Stockton South, said he would seek an apology from the Home Secretary if he did make the alleged comment about the town.

He said if such a slur was made about the town it would be, “offensive and plain wrong.”

The expert approached by The Mirror, Dr Robbie Love, a linguist and expert in profanity, of Aston University, in Birmingham, analysed the enhanced audio and ruled out the words on the tape being "s*** MP".

He told the newspaper that based on his own listening of the recording, he was “confident” the sound following the word "s***" is not "MP".

Dr Love said this was because he could only hear one syllable in the sound following "s***", while "MP" has two syllables.

He said following further analysis of the clip using specialised computer software, which identified the frequencies of the vowel sound used, he could not confirm the word following “s***” was definitely “hole".

But he said the vowel usually involved in the use of the word “hole” was closer to those used to say “M” and “P”.

Mr Cunningham told The Mirror he was “grateful” to the newspaper for putting what James Cleverley said, “beyond any doubt.”

Read more stories about Stockton from The Northern Echo by clicking here

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MPs and residents react to alleged Stockton 's**thole' slur

Stockton residents react to Home Sec 's**thole' comment

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Alex Cunningham, Ben Houchen and Matt Vickers have also been approached for comment.