Apr 23 2010 by Gregor White, Stirling Observer Friday
OCHIL MSP Keith Brown has been branded “desperate” by Labour rivals for complaining to parliamentary standards authorities in the wake of the PM’s recent constituency visit.
The Observer reported on Wednesday how the SNP’s Mr Brown has complained to Westminster’s Parliamentary Standards Commissioner John Lyon about Gordon Banks, Labour’s candidate for the Ochil and South Perthshire Westminster seat.
He claims that by putting his name to a Labour Party press release following the visit to Dollar by Gordon Brown on April 10 – accusing him of “thuggish behaviour” and acting “like a hooligan” – Mr Banks has breached MP standards.
Mr Brown denies the allegations, which included assaulting a Labour employee.
In particular he cites Section V, paragraph 15 of the MPs’ Code of Conduct which states: “Members shall at all times conduct themselves in a manner which will tend to maintain and strengthen the public's trust and confidence in the integrity of Parliament and never undertake any action which would bring the House of Commons, or its Members generally, into disrepute.”
He said: “The press release issued by the Labour Party is a complete misrepresentation of the situation and the statement by Gordon Banks is the knee jerk reaction of the Labour Party, which is to try and smear whoever asks ‘awkward’ questions of them.”
Now, however, Labour has hit back.
A party spokesperson said: “This is a desperate attempt to squirm away from the fact that the SNP MSP laid hands on a Labour Party employee when in the open street.
“He knows perfectly well that the Standards Commissioner will laugh this letter off his desk, but this type of behaviour is sadly what you expect from hooligans and bully-boys.
“The prime minister was on a visit to a private family home when Keith Brown started shouting at him in a quiet residential street.
“He denied touching our employee but the subsequent video footage proves that he lied.
“Keith Brown is the one in the wrong and he'll be very lucky if he escapes legal or police action himself.
“No wonder his SNP colleagues have been quick to isolate him.”