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Why have the SNP refused to attend the Westminster Scottish Affairs committee ?

I heard on GMS the other morning that their representative (Dr Whiteford??) had been verbally abused by the Labour Chair (Iain Davidson??) some time ago and they have boycotted ever since and will continue to do so till he is removed/quits

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Why have the SNP refused to attend the Westminster Scottish Affairs committee ?


THE SNP’s only female MP has claimed that she was threatened and intimidated by the veteran Labour politician Ian Davidson at a private meeting in the House of Commons.

Dr Eilidh Whiteford alleged that Mr Davidson had told her she would be “getting a doing” when the MPs met in a private session before last week’s Scottish Affairs Select Committee was opened to the public.

Some reports last night suggested that Mr Davidson, the committee chairman, had made the remarks in the context that Dr Whiteford would find herself in trouble if any contents of the private meeting were leaked to the media.

But a statement released by the SNP last night, almost a week after the incident is alleged to have taken place, claimed that Mr Davidson then approached Dr Whiteford and “clarified to her” that his “earlier remarks about ‘getting a doing’ were not intended to be taken as a sexual threat”.

According to the SNP statement, Mr Davidson had indicated at the time that another member of the 11-strong committee had passed a note to him relating to the inappropriateness of his comments.

Dr Whiteford has made an official complaint to the Speaker John Bercow and has said she will withdraw – but not resign – from the committee until such time as Mr Davidson resigns.

“Threats and intimidation of this nature are unacceptable under any circumstances,” said Dr Whiteford, who replaced Alex Salmond in the Banff and Buchan constituency.

“It is never appropriate to give a woman ‘a doing’. If people in my position are not prepared to stand up against aggressive and threatening behaviour, then people who face this kind of conduct in their homes and workplaces will continue to think the perpetrators can get away with it.”

“I do not believe this behaviour is compatible with the position of the chair of a select committee, and therefore I have withdrawn from the committee while Mr Davidson remains in his role as chair.”

Mr Davidson was unavailable for comment last night. But a Labour spokesman said the party would look “carefully” at the allegations made against the Glasgow MP, who is standing for the Scottish Labour party’s deputy leadership.

The Scotsman understands that Dr Whiteford discussed the remarks with the parliamentary clerks before making her complaint against Mr Davidson who infuriated the SNP earlier this year when he described Alex Salmond’s party as “neo-fascists”.

The Labour MP made the comparison on the floor of the Commons when the Scotland bill was being discussed.

As he was being heckled by SNP MPs, Mr Davidson retorted: “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.”

He later stoked up the SNP’s anger by issuing a grudging apology saying he should have used the term “thuggish rather than neo-fascist”.

Last night a Labour source said: “This is the usual SNP dirty tricks taken to a new low. This is the third time that they have called for Ian to resign.

“You really need to ask the SNP why it took the SNP a week before making these spurious claims. It is sad that this is the way the SNP do their politics.”

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