By a Newsnet reporter
A Scottish Labour MP has caused anger after comparing the independence debate to war and suggesting “wounded” independence supporters should be bayoneted.
Glasgow MP Ian Davidson has been slammed after making the remarks in a debate on the future of Scotland where he claimed the No campaign was certain of victory.
According to the Times newspaper he said of the referendum: “…people have already decided”. The Labour MP is also alleged to have said: “The debate will go on in the sense there is a large number of wounded still to be bayoneted …”
The remarks were made last month and went unreported. However alerted to the comments, SNP MSP Linda Fabiani said: “These are extremely distasteful comments. It shows the deeply negative attitude that is the hallmark of the ‘no’ campaign.”
Quizzed by the Times newspaper, a defiant Davidson stood by his comments and said his belief that success was assured by the No campaign had been reinforced following a win for Labour in the recent council by-election in Govan.
The comments are the latest in a series of controversial remarks by the Labour MP who once threatened a female MP if she revealed details of a Committee Meeting to the media.
In October 2011, Dr Eilidh Whiteford resigned from the Scottish Affairs Committee after Davidson, the MP for Glasgow South West, told the MP that she would be “getting a doing” if details of a private meeting were leaked to the media.
In August last year the Labour MP stunned viewers when he repeatedly harangued and hectored a female TV presenter during an interview on the independence referendum. Davidson’s conduct during the interview on Newsnight Scotland led to calls for an apology after he launched a verbal assault on BBC Scotland’s Isabel Fraser.
The aggressive and bullying performance eventually saw Ms Fraser, who described his behaviour as “offensive”, ask for an apology from the Labour MP. However Davidson refused and continued with the verbal tirade.
Earlier this year Davidson offended millions of Scots by accusing them of commemorating the Battle of Bannockburn because hundreds of thousands of English had been murdered.
A controversial figure, Davidson’s behaviour has caused outrage on several occasions.
In 2007 he once brought howls of laughter from Labour and Tory MPs when shouting “who cares” when the SNP’s Angus Robertson asked a question about Scotland in the Commons chamber.
In 2009, Davidson complained that new expenses rules, brought in after the expenses scandal, would leave him out of pocket. The Labour MP said that he wished he had a larger mortgage on his London flat so that he could claim more in allowances.
In the four years up to 2007-08 Davidson, who has strong union links, claimed £87,699 – only £30 below the £87,729 maximum allowed. He also used £5,500 of public cash to pay a friend to carry out some renovating work at his flat – he later took the same friend shooting at an annual Commons v Lords competition.
A keen shooting enthusiast, the Labour MP also once joked that “Come the revolution, riflemen will be required.”
In 2011, the Labour MP was urged by his own party to apologise after he described the SNP as “neo-fascist” when speaking in the House of Commons.
Ian Davidson was one of the few Labour MPs who wished to stand for the new Scottish Parliament in 1999. However he was left disappointed when he was rejected in favour of more suitable candidates.
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