Gypsy traveller row reaches Commons

Douglas Ross. Picture; TSPL
Douglas Ross. Picture; TSPL
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A row erupted in the House of Commons last night during a debate on gypsy travellers, with one Scottish MP accusing another of telling “untruths” about calling gypsy travellers a “blight on our community”.

Douglas Ross, the Conservative MP for Moray was forced to apologise in August after saying in an interview that his priority as Prime Minister would be “tougher enforcement of gypsy travellers”.

SNP MP David Linden said he was “disappointed” by the comments, but added that Mr Ross had also called unauthorised encampments a “blight”.

Mr Ross intervened to deny making the comment, telling Mr Linden: “I hope you reflect on the words you’ve added there.”

The SNP MP repeated the claim and said Mr Ross was “trying to reopen this issue again”. That prompted Mr Ross to request a Point of Order to ask the Deputy Speaker “if you can do something to stop him telling these untruths”. Lindsay Hoyle replied: “I think you’ve just corrected it for the record. You needn’t be worried.”

Mr Linden concluded: “I’m sad to see this debate has descended to this level. If the honourable member is not happy, I’m sure his constituents are more than happy to use Google.”