A Conservative MP who was criticised for appearing to suggest that SNP members of parliament should commit suicide has doubled down on his outburst y calling the party ‘petty w****rs’.
Ian Liddell-Grainger was overheard in the House of Commons shouting ‘suicide’ when SNP leader Ian Blackford asked Speaker John Bercow what options were available to Scottish MPs in the wake of how the Brexit debate was handled in parliament.
SNP politicians and mental health campaigners criticised the MP for Bridgwater and Somerset, who refused to apologise and insisted he was referring to ‘political suicide’.
MPs raised the issue with the Speaker in parliament, with Alan Brown saying: “I’ve been at the funeral of one of my best friends’ son who’d committed suicide, I’ve been at the funeral of one of my early childhood friends who’d committed suicide, I had to help a constituent get his son sectioned for his own safety because he was suicidal.
“So therefore I too want to put on record my disgust at (Ian Liddell-Grainger) for shouting that suicide was an option for the leader of the SNP to consider, it’s completely out of order. So I’d like to ask the Leader of House if she can make a Government statement about what’s been done to educate members in their behaviour.”
Leader of the House Andrea Leadsom said: “Mr Speaker and I have both made clear that unacceptable language, threatening language, violent language and of course offensive language should not be used at any time, let alone in the chamber.”
An unrepentant Mr Liddell-Grainger, however, told his local paper the Somerset County Gazette that he was misquoted.
He said: ““I wasn’t even in the chamber, I wasn’t even there when they made the point of order. It was during Points of Order, not even in the main debate, around 10 minutes after I’d left.
“They’re a petty bunch of ****** who have ruined my country – I am a Scotsman. They’ve done it out of mischief, this is how they operate.
“The tweets come from Stewart McDonald, I don’t know him. I’m hardly going to lose sleep over it.
“It’s the cowards way of doing stuff. As a fellow Scot I’m deeply embarrassed by them.”
He added: “I’m an ex-solider. I am more acute to mental health than most.
“Of course I wouldn’t make light of mental health. It’s not something I have ever done in my political career and nor would I ever.”