Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson has come under fire after mocking the Scottish accent of an SNP MSP.
Davidson was taking part in Holyrood’s Section 30 debate when she took aim at SNP MSP Joan McAlpine.
Addressing the Holyrood chamber, she said: “I also refer the First Minister to that leading authority on all things European, Joan McAlpine, who said in January … and I won’t do the accent …”
The insult sparked fury in the chamber with several of Ms McAlpine’s colleagues protesting loudly. Calls of “terrible” were heard and several looked expectantly to the Presiding Officer.
A defiant Davidson ploughed on apparently oblivious to the anger she had caused. Then, moments later, there was further fury as she barked “sit down!” at the First Minister who had risen to make an intervention.
Responding to the accent remark, MSP McAlpine tweeted: “I’m a member of the Scottish Parliament who speaks with a Scottish accent – like vast majority of population. Tories find it funny #scotref”
Party colleague, Gillian Martin MSP tweeted: “Making snide jokes and remarks and actually threatening to imitate Joan McAlpine’s “accent”! She’s not FM material that’s for sure.”
The comments from the Scottish Conservative leader are the latest in a series of verbal blunders. Last October Davidson was speaking at an event attended by Prime Minister Theresa May when she told the audience: “I’m delighted we have such spectacular surroundings,”
She added: “Usually they put the Scots in a place where nothing can be broken. Or stolen for that matter!”
In 2012 the Tory MSP claimed almost nine out of 10 Scottish households take more from the public purse than they contribute in taxes.
In January this year Davidson came under fire after appearing to compare a referendum on Scottish independence to a civil war. In a speech to the David Hume Institute in Edinburgh, the MSP said she did not want Brexit to be used to “start yet another fratricidal conflict”. The term ‘fratricide’ literally means the murdering of one’s own family members.
With a second independence referendum now all but certain there is sure to be some private concern amongst Unionists over the ability of Davidson to maintain discipline in the heat of a passionate campaign.
The Conservative MSP has thus far escaped any forensic media scrutiny. That though will change as Scotland’s leading British Nationalist takes on Scotland’s First Minister in order to find out if Brexit has changed the 2014 referendum result.Views: 38420