The Scottish Labour leader found unlikely support from the Tories and SNP after being attacked for having an English accent.
An English Tory MP has been slammed for criticising Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard’s accent – by her own party.
Dehenna Davison, MP for Bishop Auckland in the north of England,BUT FROM SHEFFIELD, has been criticised for a tweet blaming the leader of Scottish Labour’s accent as the reason for the party’s decline.
After seeing Leonard’s Sunday morning interview on Sky TV the “red wall” Tory MP tweeted that she knew the reason for Scottish Labour’s troubles.
She said: “I think I’ve got to the bottom of it…The Scottish Labour Leader… has a broad Lancashire accent. No word of a lie, he sounds like he could be the Speaker’s brother!”
Leonard gently corrected her by pointing out his accent is from North Yorkshire and that Scotland had been his home for four decades since attending university in Stirling.
But opponents, including the Scottish Conservatives, rallied to his defence.
A spokesman for the Tories branded Davison’s remarks as “unacceptable”.
The official said: “The reason Labour have no credibility or relevance in Scotland has got nothing to do with Richard Leonard’s accent. This criticism is unacceptable. It plays into the kind of divisive politics that the SNP promote.”
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Scottish Tory MSPs Jamie Halcro Johnston and Dean Lockhart also said Leonard’s accent was “irrelevant”.
The SNP’s Neil Gray MP, a former election opponent of Leonard’s, was among the many politician who came down hard on Davison’s comments.
He said: “This is really poor. Thankfully most people in Scotland couldn’t give a hoot about accents, and care more about what you contribute. Having campaigned in elections against Richard, without personal malice in either direction, his accent has never come up once in Airdrie & Shotts.”
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