Scots MP ‘heckled over accent’ in Commons

Hugh Gaffney won the Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill constituency at the 2017 general election. Picture: John Devlin
Hugh Gaffney won the Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill constituency at the 2017 general election. Picture: John Devlin
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A Labour MP has told how he was subjected to slurs over his weight and Scottish accent during Commons debates.

Hugh Gaffney, who was elected in June last year, revealed he has been “heckled something awful” by Tory MPs – but said nothing would deter him from standing up for “workers and equality”.

The Scot, who has been involved with the trade union movement for more than a decade, shrugged off the insults, saying he had a “harder time” from former postal service colleagues.

He said: “There’s heckling, aye, it is what kind of heckling you get. When people start attacking your body size then you’re winning the argument because they’re not going for the policy. In the chamber one of the MPs made a remark about my language, basically he was saying we can’t understand you, so he’s having a wee pop at the Scottish accent.

“Somebody else pulled him up for it and in fairness to the man he came up and apologised, he was heckling me something awful.” Despite the heckling Mr Gaffney, who represents the Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill constituency, expressed a fondness for Parliament – a place he has dubbed “Butlins”.

Mr Gaffney said Labour can “definitely” take back Scotland from the SNP and the Tories under Jeremy Corbyn. He said Labour were “all over the place” before Mr Corbyn.

The SNP secured a landslide victory in 2015 with 56 of the 59 seats compared to Labour’s one. Labour now hold seven following the 2017 election.