MSP in row over re­mark to dis­abled Celtic fan

The Herald - - POLITICS - JACK MC­GRE­GOR

AN SNP MSP has come un­der fire af­ter sug­gest­ing a dis­abled Celtic fan who raised con­cerns about park­ing should sim­ply sup­port an­other club in­stead.

John Ma­son, who rep­re­sents Glas­gow Shet­tle­ston, which in­cludes Celtic Park, emailed the sup­porter af­ter he raised fears a proposed park­ing ban would leave him un­able to at­tend games.

In re­sponse, Mr Ma­son wrote: “Could you think of sup­port­ing a smaller more lo­cal club that would ap­pre­ci­ate your adding to their crowd?”

Foot­ball web­site Celtic Quick News, which high­lighted the email, branded it ap­palling “on ev­ery level”.

Plans to ban car park­ing within a mile of Celtic Park dur­ing matches are be­ing ad­vanced by Glas­gow City Coun­cil.

But one Celtic sea­son ticket holder from New­cas­tle, iden­ti­fied only as Gor­don, said he is un­able to walk for more than 10 min­utes and the move could stop him at­tend­ing games.

Scottish Con­ser­va­tive MSP Jeremy Bal­four, who was born with a phys­i­cal dis­abil­ity, said Mr Ma­son’s re­sponse “de­spi­ca­ble”.

He said: “John Ma­son needs to take a long, hard look in the mir­ror. If this was an at­tempt at hu­mour it failed mis­er­ably. If he was be­ing se­ri­ous, that’s a dis­grace­ful po­si­tion which will make many peo­ple won­der if he’s even fit to be an MSP.”

Labour MSP James Kelly said Mr Ma­son’s com­ments were “out­ra­geous”.

Mr Ma­son said he didn’t think peo­ple would be of­fended by his lat­est re­marks if they saw the full email chain.

He said there was a “huge prob­lem” with in­ap­pro­pri­ate park­ing around Celtic Park on match days.

An SNP spokesman said: “No-one should have to con­sider sup­port­ing an­other foot­ball club be­cause of lack of dis­abled fa­cil­i­ties – all clubs have a duty to en­sure that dis­abled sup­port­ers can ac­cess their sta­di­ums and fully en­joy the match day ex­pe­ri­ence.”

„ John Ma­son told Celtic fan with park­ing fears to sup­port an­other club.

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