A Scottish Conservative peer has launched a blistering attack on an SNP MP in a row over her contributions to the House of Lords.
Michelle Mone, who rose to fame as the co-founder of the Ultimo lingerie brand, described Glasgow South MP Stewart McDonald as an “SNP moron” after he said she had not submitted any written questions to the UK Government since being appointed to the upper chamber in 2015.
The businesswoman from Glasgow responded that she had taken part in 78 votes in the Lords, not two, as Mr McDonald had suggested.
Baroness Mone’s furious response followed a tweet from the SNP member which mocked her new jewellery line, which is being sold via a television shopping channel. “Since becoming a baroness and legislator – for which she is entitled to £300 per day – Ms Mone has submitted no questions to the government and taken part in only two votes,” he said. “Still, she’s sold some jewellery.”
The peer replied: “What are u talking about u SNP moron! I have voted over 78 times,not twice! I’m a global entrepreneur with 9 biz interests not a full time MP like u (sic).”
“The difference is I’m a baroness for life, whereas u will be out of ur MP job in no time.”
Mr McDonald later clarified his original tweet. “Sorry you’re right, you’ve walked down the voting corridor 78 times and spoken in two debates,” he said. “Some record.”
Some social media users were less than impressed with the peer’s outburst. One replied: “Such class, such elegance, such dazzling wit. A true benefit to our parliament to have you there.”
But others were more supportive, with one asking Mr McDonald is he was “jealous” of her success.
Ms Mone has enjoyed a high media profile and has appeared on TV shows including The Apprentice, Celebrity Masterchef and Surprise Surprise.
Her elevation to the peerage in 2015, under then prime minister David Cameron, proved controversial with several prominent Scottish business figures criticising her appointment as a “business czar”, claiming she did not have the business credentials for the position.
She was appointed by the department for work and pensions to review the support available for people from less advantaged areas to start up their own businesses.
Douglas Anderson, joint managing director of the Gap Group, a tool and plant hire company, wrote to then prime minister David Cameron to describe Ms Mone as “a small-time businesswoman”, saying elevating her to the House of Lords would be “highly divisive”, given her outspoken opposition to Scottish independence.
John Pirie, a partner in the private equity firm Nevis Capital, said he had been “flabbergasted” to learn of Ms Mone’s new role.
In 2015 Ms Mone resigned from the board of the underwear firm she founded a year after selling the majority of her stake in parent group MJM International.