The New Democrat who represents a St. John's-area riding in the House of Commons has apologized for a prepared statement that said Prime Minister Stephen Harper "doesn't know his arse from a hole in the ground."

In Parliament Wednesday, Ryan Cleary read a list of "best quotes" he collected from constituents during a town hall this weekend in his riding of St. John's South-Mount Pearl.

"The No. 1 quote from the town hall in my riding regarding the Trojan horse budget bill was, 'The Prime Minister doesn't know his arse from a hole in the ground,' " Cleary told the Commons.

The word "arse" is not specifically included among the words and phrases that over the years have been declared unparliamentary, although the similar word "ass" has been verboten since at least 1970.

Cleary rose to apologize for the remarks later during the session.

"We Newfoundlanders and Labradorians have a colourful language. I have to remind myself of where to use it," Cleary said.