SNP MP Hannah Bardell reports Ulster peer to police over 'homophobic hate crime'

SNP MP Hannah Bardell
SNP MP Hannah Bardell
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An SNP MP has reported a peer to the police after he referred to her as “queer” in a row over abuse of Commons staff.

Hannah Bardell told parliament that she would report Lord Ken Maginnis to the police for homophobia after he hit back at her for raising an incident where he is alleged to have abused Westminster security staff.

Following PMQs on Wednesday, Ms Bardell raised a point of order in the Commons to claim that she had witnessed Lord Maginnis shouting at staff after being denied entry because he had forgotten his security pass.

The Livingston MP told the Commons that it was “one of the worst cases of abuse of security staff I have seen”.

Lord Maginnis is alleged to have called a parliamentary security officer a “little git” and “crooked”, and told him: “Don’t you know who I am?”

When contacted by the Huffington Post, Lord Maginnis did not deny the claims, and said: “[It] would probably all have blown over except this Bardell woman decided to get herself a bit of publicity.

“She and I are known to be on other sides - I am opposed to abortion, I am opposed to gay people like her seeking to change marriage.

“She obviously being what she is and wanting to make changes decided she would score a few points for herself.

“I was a major for 12 years in the Ulster Defence Regiment in Northern Ireland, I survived 10 assassination attempts, so I’m not altogether a softie if you know what I mean by that.

“Queers like Ms Bardell don’t particularly annoy me. Okay, she’s got her cheap publicity out of it.”

On Thursday, the SNP MP returned to the Commons and said she would report the peer to police, saying she considered the matter to be “a hate crime”.

“We must set the best possible standards for this place for other LGBT people and indeed our staff,” Ms Bardell said.

Responding for the government, Leader of the Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg said Lord Maginnis’ conduct had been “unutterable disgraceful” and he “clearly owed an apology” to Ms Bardell.

“I think everybody who heard about that was shocked by the comments he is reported to have made and not denied. I think they are really appalling,” Mr Rees-Mogg added.