"Michael Gove yesterday denied being guilty of 'Cymru-phobia' after using the term 'welshed' in Parliament. The Education Secretary used the verb, meaning to fail to honour a deal, as he faced MPs at Commons' questions.
Some Welsh people find the term offensive, claiming it implies they cannot be trusted.
Mr Gove, a Scotsman, was rebuked by Speaker John Bercow, who urged him to choose another word.
The clash came after Mr Gove admitted he had agreed to visit Stoke with the city's Labour MP Tristram Hunt, but never went. Mr Gove told Mr Hunt: 'I have a confession to make: you invited me to the Potteries and I welshed on the deal.'
The Speaker rose to his feet, telling the Education Secretary: 'I think you meant "renege".'
After consulting with colleagues a puzzled Mr Gove, whose wife, Times journalist Sarah Vine, was born in Wales, thanked the Speaker for 'correcting my vocab'. He added: 'I would hate to be thought guilty of Cymru-phobia, especially as someone married to a Welsh girl.'
At least the discussion was good-humored. Cymru is the name for Wales in Welsh (a Gaelic tongue).