Scottish Daily Mail


MP enjoyed Far East junket ... then weeks later made racial slur against Chinese

- By Rachel Watson Deputy Scottish Political Editor

RACE row MP Hugh Gaffney went on an all-expenses-paid trip to China ‘to strengthen relations’ with the UK just weeks before a racist outburst in which he used the word ‘Ch***y’.

Mr Gaffney is facing calls to quit over ‘deeply offensive’ comments he made about the Chinese and LGBT communitie­s at a Burns Supper in Edinburgh.

Although he has apologised for using the slurs and will attend diversity training, the Scottish Labour Party has failed to take action against the MP, with bosses under growing pressure to suspend him or remove the whip.

It has also been disclosed that senior Labour members and MSPs have voiced their disgust over the party’s failure to take action.

Fresh calls for his resignatio­n came yesterday as it emerged Mr Gaffney had been on the trip in November with Westminste­r’s all-party parliament­ary group (APPG) on China.

According to his House of Commons register of interests the four-day trip included £908 flights, £540 accommodat­ion, £67 food and drink while £110 was spent on ‘meeting and hospitalit­y expenses, including interprete­rs.

The trip was funded by the APPG and took place only weeks before the Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill MP gave the Immortal Memory at a Labour Students Burns Supper in Edinburgh.

His speech sparked outrage as he told youngsters in the audience they were lucky he had turned up to the event as he could be at home eating a ‘Ch***y’ for dinner instead. He also read out a self-penned poem in which he said Robert Burns ‘was not bent’.

MSP Anas Sarwar and Transport Minister Humza Yousaf have criticised Labour’s lack of action over Mr Gaffney’s comments and yesterday Mr Yousaf called for Mr Gaffney to ‘consider his position’ as an MP.

He told the BBC’s Sunday Politics Scotland show Labour members had told him they were ‘utterly appalled’ at the party’s stance. He added: ‘It is showing itself to be weak in the face of racial slurs. If an MP used any other racial slur I don’t think we would say that person would be fit for office. Hugh Gaffney admits making a racial slur yet all he gets is barely a tickle on the wrist. He should be suspended.’

Last week a senior Labour source said it was unlikely the party would take action against Mr Gaffney as he is ‘too close’ to Jeremy Corbyn, who is likely to be quizzed on Labour’s stance when he visits Scotland today.

Major plans to tackle racism and sexual harassment in Scottish Labour have been unveiled by the party.

Leader Richard Leonard yesterday announced the equalities and diversity sub-committee will develop a comprehens­ive anti-discrimina­tion and harassment policy.

He said: ‘There is no place for racial, gender or other discrimina­tion or harassment in our party.’

‘Barely a tickle on the wrist’

 ??  ?? Gaffe: Hugh Gaffney made a Burns Night blunder
Gaffe: Hugh Gaffney made a Burns Night blunder
 ??  ?? Visit: The Labour MP on his all-expenses-paid trip to China
Visit: The Labour MP on his all-expenses-paid trip to China

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