Lab MP Sorry For Racist Burns Comments
7 February 2018, 19:18 | Updated: 7 February 2018, 19:22
A Labour MP has apologised for using "deeply offensive" language during a Burns Supper speech.
Hugh Gaffney, who represents Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill, has been reprimanded by the party and is to attend equality and diversity training.
He is reported to have made a joke about Robert Burns not being "bent", and used a racist term when referring to a Chinese meal.
In a statement Mr Gaffney said: "Last week I attended a Labour Students Burns Supper in Edinburgh.
"At that event I used certain language relating to the Chinese and LGBT communities that was wrong and completely inappropriate.
"I want to offer my unreserved apologies for what I said; my remarks were deeply offensive and unacceptable.
"I will be taking part in equality and diversity training at the earliest opportunity.
"I will do everything possible to make amends with both the Chinese community and the LGBT community."
A Labour spokesman said: "Hugh Gaffney MP has been reprimanded for using inappropriate and offensive language.
"He has apologised unreservedly and referred himself for equality and diversity training.
"The Labour Party is clear that this language is unacceptable."
Labour MSP Anas Sarwar drew up an eight-point plan on how the party can tackle everyday racism and Islamophobia after speaking out on the abuse he received during the Scottish leadership campaign.
He tweeted: "Today is sadly another example of why we need to recognise that everyday racism is a reality."
SNP minister Humza Yousaf said Mr Gaffney should be suspended.
He tweeted: "This is utterly awful. A simple apology and diversity training does NOT cut it! In fact it is a slap in the face to suggest this absolves him.
"Hope @LabourRichard takes serious action against Hugh Gaffney. At very least he should be suspended from the party and whip withdrawn."