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Tory MP forced to apologise over comments on SNP trip to Gibraltar

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A CONSERVATIVE MP has apologised to the SNP after he urged the party to make its own apology over a trip to Gibraltar.

Lee Anderson pressed the SNP to say sorry over a trip to Gibraltar in which he said SNP MPs had been exhibiting “drunken loutish” behaviour.

The SNP and the Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons hit out at the Conservative MP, with Owen Thompson telling his Tory colleague to correct his “clearly erroneous” accusation.

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The SNP have repeatedly denied the allegations from the Tories that two of their MPs, David Linden and Drew Hendry, were drunk during an official trip.

READ MORE: Tories accused of ‘disgusting smear’ of SNP MPs on trip to Gibraltar

The Scottish MPs were taking part in an Armed Forces parliamentary visit to Gibraltar for Armistice Day as part of a group of MPs.

However, several newspapers were briefed on the two SNP members reportedly being drunk and disorderly while on the British Airways flight to Gibraltar.

The SNP denied the accusations, accusing the Tories of a “disgusting smear” while two Tories were also accused of being drunk at the event, staying up late into the night – an allegation they deny.

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Speaking in the House of Commons on Tuesday to the SNP MP, Anderson said: “He’s not Madam Deputy Speaker, even apologised about the drunken loutish behaviour of his own MPs during a trip to Gibraltar just a few weeks ago, they were spotted, staggering around.”

The Deputy Speaker responded to Anderson: “The Honourable gentleman must resume his seat. And I think he’s straying a long way from the motion in the debate.

“He is also referring to Honourable Members who I don’t know whether are here or not, but he would have known should have notified them if he was going to refer to them.

“I suggest that he resumes his speech and just bears in mind those points that I have made because I would hate to think that the public were looking at us and thinking that this had just become a slanging match.”

Thomson hit out at Anderson, saying: “Madam Deputy Speaker, the member is making clearly erroneous accusations against members that are simply not true. I would ask for your guidance and how your member can remove and correct the record.”

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon says claims about SNP MPs drinking on Gibraltar trip are ‘false’

The Deputy Speaker replied: “I think I made it very clear my views about the fact that we had to be very, first of all, it’s very important not to make references to members who were not here if they if the Honourable Members accusing them of something.

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“Secondly, that I do hope we can maintain an element of courtesy in this debate, it’s not going well so far with the Honourable Gentleman.”

Anderson added: “Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. Now, I’m going to apologise to the party opposite and we can clear this up straightaway. I apologise about the Gibraltar comments.”

“And, you know, I’ve spoken to some of my constituents who, who would like to see some of the MPs breathalyse next time they get off an aeroplane in Gibraltar.”

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