Eilidh Whiteford ratchets up Ian Davidson row

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IAN Davidson has been accused of telling the SNP politician he is alleged to have threatened that she was “asking for it”.

The claim, made by Dr Eilidh Whiteford in an article in today’s Scotland on Sunday, has escalated the row, which saw her withdraw from the Scottish Affairs Select Committee.

But last night, she was criticised for equating language associated with violence against women with robust political debate.

Whiteford has claimed Davidson, chair of the committee, had threatened her with “a doing” after she had informed the media about the private discussion.

Davidson has denied threatening Whiteford, saying the offending phrase was said in the context of “you’ve had a doing, now let’s move on”.

But in today’s article, Whiteford writes: “There is no action, no misbehaviour that justifies the threat or act of ‘a doing’. We hear too often of women being told they were ‘asking for it’ in justification for intimidation or violence. I never expected to hear that from an MP in Parliament.”

Her latest claim provoked criticism from Sandra Osborne, a Labour MP and former Women’s Aid counsellor, who said: “People must be very careful with the language they use and about what they compare to domestic abuse. There isn’t really an equivalence between the violence women face in their own homes and robust political debate.”

Davidson disputed Whiteford’s claim that he had told her she “would get a doing” if she stepped out of line. He said: “The members from every other party on my committee have confirmed, on the record and in Parliament, that I did not threaten Dr Whiteford.”