A Labour MP at the centre of a row over claims of bias at BBC Scotland has caused further controversy by accusing a female MP, who alleged he threatened her with a “doing”, of “truanting” from a House of Commons Committee he chairs.
Ian Davidson, who chairs the House of Commons Scottish Affairs Committee was asked to comment on the fact that the committee, who regularly attack the Scottish Government’s referendum plans, is made up entirely of Unionist MPs.
Mr Davidson said that the absence of Dr Eilidh Whiteford from the Committee was because the female SNP MP was “truanting” – a phrase used to describe a child who refuses to attend school.
The Labour MP made the comment in an STV debate with SNP MSP Linda Fabiani, who immediately challenged Mr Davidson by reminding viewers of the accusation of inappropriate behaviour made against him.
The Labour MP’s remark is sure to raise eyebrows given the circumstances surrounding Ms Whiteford’s decision not to re-join the committee, one that Davidson himself chairs, which followed claims that Mr Davidson had threatened the female MP with a “doing” if she spoke to the press.
The ensuing row led to Davidson admitting that he did indeed use the term. However the Labour MP insisted that the committee would have administered the ‘doing’ verbally and that there was no question of physical violence.
The Unionist make-up of Mr Davidson’s committee has led many to question the credibility of its conclusions that repeatedly fall into line with Unionist attacks on the Scottish Government’s plans for an independence referendum.
The committee has recently claimed that the Scottish Parliament will need Westminster permission in order to hold a referendum and that the SNP have no right to include a second ‘devo-max’ type question on the ballot paper.