Scotland politics

Scottish Labour MP Hugh Gaffney 'heckled over weight and accent'

Hugh Gaffney Image copyright Hugh Gaffney / Twitter
Image caption Hugh Gaffney attracted attention for wearing his old work shirt on his first day as an MP

A Labour MP has claimed he was subjected to slurs over his weight and Scottish accent during Commons debates.

Hugh Gaffney, who was elected in June last year, said he had been "heckled something awful" by Tory MPs.

But the former postal worker said nothing would deter him from "standing up for workers and equality".

Mr Gaffney said: "When people start attacking your body size then you're winning the argument because they're not going for the policy."

The MP for Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill added: "There's heckling, aye, it is what kind of heckling you get.

"In the chamber, one of the MPs made a remark about my language, basically he was saying we can't understand you, so he's having a wee pop at the Scottish accent.

"Somebody else pulled him up for it and in fairness to the man he came up and apologised, he was heckling me something awful."

'Posh boys'

The father of three, who was involved with the trade union movement for more than a decade, wore his former postal uniform to Parliament after being elected.

He said: "I spent my life in the Post Office, I would chat on doorsteps and say: 'Send a working man to Parliament'.

"So I came down here with my uniform on, that was one of my symbols to say the working man has arrived."

He added: "The way to change politics is to get more real society in here, it's purely business people in here.

"It's like the posh boys and the working-class boys. I suppose if you live in here all the time, I can understand why some of our Labour boys become posh boys.

"When the trade union started emerging they said you'll wear the tie so much that you'll forget who you're representing.

"I feel workers don't get enough, they deserve more, they deserve better."