Storm over MP Ian Davidson's SNP 'neo-facist' remark
- 22 June 2011
- From the section Scotland
Alex Salmond has demanded an apology from the chairman of Westminster's Scottish Affairs Committee, after he branded the SNP "neo-fascists".
The first minister's call came after Labour MP Ian Davidson made the comments during a Commons debate on the Scotland Bill.
The Glasgow South West MP attacked the "narrow, neo-fascism of the nationalists".
He was immediately condemned by SNP MPs, who reacted angrily.
The first minister said Mr Davidson should say sorry as quickly as possible, while SNP Westminster leader Angus Robertson said the Labour politician's committee position was now untenable.
Labour has distanced itself from Mr Davidson's comments, saying the use of the word "neo-fascist" was unacceptable, even in the heat of debate.
During the Scotland Bill debate, Mr Davidson sought to play down Scotland's appetite for independence, despite the SNP's landslide election win.
As SNP MPs heckled the Labour MP, Mr Davidson responded: "I notice the way in which efforts have been made to shout me down.
"That's what's happened traditionally in Scotland when people challenge the nationalists.
"Those of us who want to challenge the narrow, neo-fascism of the nationalists."
Mr Davidson later repeated the comment during the exchanges, when he said: "Is it not neo-fascist to attempt to shout down speakers that you disagree with?"
Following the remarks, Mr Salmond said: "Ian Davidson should apologise as quickly as possible. Clearly he forgot himself.
"Obviously there are confines beyond which democratic parties should not exchange language - he's clearly breached the confines."
The Scotland Bill, which will give new powers to the Scottish Parliament, has now been sent to the House of Lords for consideration, after being passed by MPs.
Commons Speaker John Bercow said it was up to MPs on the Scottish Affairs committee to take any action against their chairman.