The Chancellor and Prime Minister Theresa May were almost uncontrollable at the Labour Party MP’s accusations amid reports of bullying and harassment in the House of Commons.
Mr McDonnell was bemoaning the UK’s lack of spending on artificial intelligence, which is “less than a tenth of what the US is spending”, according to the shadow chancellor.
Shouts from the Conservative benches then drowned out Mr McDonnell’s next statement, prompting a furious response.
He blast: “The Tory bully boys can shout all they want, they can make…”
After being drowned out once again, Commons Speaker John Bercow intervened giving the shadow chancellor another opportunity to put his point across.
Mr McDonnell continued: “They can shout all they want, they can make their snide remarks but people out there know the crisis in our community.”
The shadow chancellor’s comments provoked a feisty response from the normally reserved Mr Hammond.
The Chancellor fumed: “He talks about ‘Tory bully boys’, I heard him referring to some of my Honourable Friends as ‘Tory bully boys’.
“Can I just remind the House, this is the man who still refuses to apologise to my Right Honourable Friend the Work and Pensions Secretary, so I don’t want to hear anything about bullying from the benches opposite – the public will draw its own conclusions.”
Previous to their exchange, Mr Hammond proclaimed there was “light at the end of the tunnel” for the British economy.
The Chancellor said borrowing was due to fall in every year of his latest forecast – telling them Commons debt will fall as a share of GDP from 2018-19.
Growth will be 1.4 percent this year, 0.1 percent higher than forecast, with the forecast for 2019 and 2020 unchanged at 1.3 percent, he said.
Mr Hammond also accused Labour of talking the economy down, comparing them to the gloomy character from Winnie the Pooh.
He quipped: “If there are any Eyesores in the chamber, they are over there.
“I meanwhile am at my most positively Tigger-like today, as I contemplate a country which faces the future with unique strengths.”