MP hits out at threats

Banff and Buchan MP Dr Eilidh Whiteford has withdrawn from all proceedings of a House of Commons Committee, after claiming that she was threatened by the committee’s chairman.

Dr Whiteford has now called for the resignation of the Scottish Affairs Select Committee chairman, Glasgow South West MP Ian Davidson, over what she described as his “inappropriate and unacceptable” conduct during a committee meeting on 19 October.

Dr Whiteford alleges that during a private session of the committee which was discussing a forthcoming enquiry into the issue of Scottish Independence, Mr Davidson had threatened to ‘give her a doing’. Dr Whiteford goes on to claim that in an apparent attempt to defuse the situation, he then approached her afterwards to clarify that his earlier remarks were not intended as a sexual threat.

Commenting on her decision to withdraw from the committee’s proceedings until Mr Davidson resigned his chairmanship, Dr Whiteford said:

“Threats and intimidation of this nature are unacceptable under any circumstances. It is never appropriate to threaten 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“I do not believe this behaviour is compatible with the position of Chair of a Select Committee, and therefore I have withdrawn from the Committee while Mr Davidson remains in his role as chair.”

Mr Davidson is standing to be his party’s Deputy Scottish Leader. He generated fury earlier in the year when during a debate on the Scotland Bill he accused the SNP of being ‘neo fascists’.