Alex Salmond’s reintroduction to Parliament has hit a few bumps in the road this week. He was criticised on Tuesday when he appeared to use Charles Kennedy’s death as an opportunity to push Scottish independence. Now, Salmond has told Anna Soubry, the small business minister, to ‘behave herself, woman’.
During a House of Commons debate last night on devolution, he stopped his speech and scolded Soubry for her behaviour in the chamber:
‘Luckily the honourable lady is on the front bench so therefore won’t be standing for chair on one of these select committees, otherwise she would have done her chances no good whatsoever. The Treasury bench should behave better in these debates, she should be setting an example to your new members not cavorting about like some demented junior minister – behave yourself, woman.’
Salmond will have first come across Soubry when she was a newsreader in the north of Scotland – it may still be a bit of a shock for him to see her doing what he now does, but at a more senior level. But that’s still no excuse for such language.
Given the fuss that was made when Barry Sheerman called Esther McVey a ‘hard-hearted Hannah’ earlier this year, Mr S advises the former SNP leader to refrain from addressing any other females as ‘woman’ for the forseeable future.
Update: Soubry has taken to Twitter to criticise Salmond for the manner in which he spoke to her:
Alex Salmond seems to think women should be seen not heard His attitude belongs firmly in the 19th century
— Anna Soubry MP (@Anna_Soubry) June 4, 2015
Mr S can’t see this one blowing over anytime soon.