By G.A.Ponsonby

A Scottish Labour MP caught up in a row over whether he claimed to have voted against the Bedroom Tax despite having been absent, has claimed he simply "misunderstood the question" and is the victim of a "character assassination".

Ian Davidson, who represents Glasgow South West, has hit back at claims he misled a protestor at an anti-Bedroom Tax rally after the man asked the Labour MP how he had voted.

Mr Davidson, who was attending the anti-Bedroom Tax rally in Glasgow at the weekend was approached by the man who asked "You abstained from the vote", the Labour MP replied: "No I didn't".

Asked again "You didn’t abstain from the vote?" the Labour MP confirmed his earlier reply and when asked how he voted, replied: "I voted no."

The exchange was caught on camera and posted online.  It has led to accusations that the Glasgow MP deliberately misled the protestor after official House of Commons records showed that he had missed two crucial votes on the Bedroom Tax.

However in a response to a request from Newsnet Scotland for clarification, the Labour MP has insisted that he misunderstood the question, believing the protestor to be referring not to any Bedroom Tax vote, but a wholly different vote on Workfare.

Describing the original story as a "combination of misunderstanding and malice" the Labour MP added:

"I misunderstood the question & others have tried character assassination.

"For the record I am opposed to the Bedroom Tax, that’s why I was on the demonstration, but I made the mistake of assuming that everyone on the demo was on the same side and did not realise that political sectarianism was so alive and well."

The Glasgow MP claimed it did not occur to him that the protestor was referring to the Bedroom Tax vote because the man had not specified which vote he was referring to.

"…it didn’t occur to me that he was referring to any Bedroom Tax vote but instead to the much more recent, and more controversial, vote on Workfare."

Explaining his reasoning, he said:

"I made this assumption on 3 grounds: My questioner referred to 'the vote' as if there had only been one – this was true of Workfare but not on the Bedroom Tax where there had been many.  Abstention on the workfare bill was more recent and more controversial and Labour had split.  I had already had discussions with others that day on the workfare bill – no one else had tried to draw dividing lines on the Bedroom Tax.

"I responded accordingly and said, to a subsequent question, that Labour had abstained on the vote – it had on the Workfare vote but not on any of the Bedroom Tax votes."

He continued: "Again, for the record I have always voted against the Bedroom Tax on every opportunity I have had but, like all MPs, there are some votes I have missed because I have been absent."

He said suggestions by "some Nationalists" that he had abstained on only one Bedroom Tax vote was "false" and that he had missed "a number of votes, on various aspects of the Bedroom Tax, as well as on the principle,"

He also claimed he had "another commitment" on the day of the amendment calling for the controversial legislation to be scrapped and accused "Nats" of having a "sectarian" agenda which he suggested was their "driving spirit".

The video of the heated exchange has caused a storm on online media since it was published on youtube.  Many critics who have watched the video have suggested it unlikely that being asked, at a major rally against the Bedroom Tax, how he voted, that he would not realise the context obvious.

However supporters have backed Mr Davidson’s version that he was in fact referring to another vote entirely.

The Glasgow MP, who chairs Westminster’s Scottish Affairs Committee, has courted controversy with his outspoken and at times intemperate outbursts.

In October 2011 he was accused of threatening a female MP with a "doing" if she spoke to the media.  SNP MP Dr Eilidh Whiteford, the only non-Unionist member of the committee, resigned after claiming the Labour MP issued the threat to her if the SNP MP discussed committee proceedings with the media.

Last year Davidson was widely condemned after he became verbally abusive towards female presenter Isabel Fraser in a live BBC Scotland interview.

More recently he caused anger after claiming Scots who celebrated the Battle of Bannockburn only did so because English people had been murdered.

The Labour MP claimed that commemorations to be held on the 700th anniversary of the ancient battle, which led to Scotland achieving its independence, were being held mainly to celebrate "the murder of hundreds of thousands of English people".


# pistonbroke 2013-04-03 00:13
I was the questioner.

The man is a Liar.

If he thought I was asking about any other vote then why did he not ask me to clarify?Ask me to explain which vote I was talking about?

We were at a bedroom tax demo,why would I ask about a workfare vote !?? He understood exactly what I was asking about as he answered without hesitation....before running away and I mean.....running away and didn't come back !

He skirted around the demo for 20 mins(I have plenty of video of him doing this)He didn't get in amongst the organised lines.Observing his actions,he appeared to be there as merely an observer.

He can try and spin or back-peddle as much as he likes,the man understood exactly what I was referring to,he is a Liar.
# clootie 2013-04-03 06:42
Piston broke

Well done in both asking the question and giving a clear response here. Why would anyone think you were asking about another vote at a march against the bedroom tax.

He is a liar and you exposed him as such.
# Diabloandco 2013-04-03 07:02
Most excellent!

Can we expect "Newsnat" Scotland to bring this up??

He was probably skirting around long enough to be caught on camera for the beeb or STV.
# Astonished 2013-04-03 07:16
Well done pistonbroke.

I haven't noticed this liar's story reported in any of the papers or on the telly. Can't think why .

I expect this will be on call kaye soon.
# SolTiger 2013-04-03 10:48
Well done for doing this.

Even IF, and it is not really an if at all, he did indeed misunderstand the question at the time he as already sunk himself with this new reply.

"For the record I am opposed to the Bedroom Tax, that’s why I was on the demonstration"

He is so opposed to it that he was absent for the VOTE but turns up to a demo after the fact?

Maybe he "misunderstood" what the votes were on?
# Indy_Scot 2013-04-03 11:14
From the information I know about this man in regards to the things he says and how he treats people and bullies women, I have developed a strong dislike of him.

I cannot thank you enough for putting this pitiful excuse for a man in his place.
# wee e 2013-04-03 12:42
How he managed to call you a liar for supposedly telling him the camera was off (in reality, for having the temerity to question him) -- that was the counterattack of a habitual liar.

He was hoping that you would have switched the camera off at some point and he could accuse you of selective editing.

Just a pity for him that you kept the camera running and prove him a liar in that wee lie as well.

Well done for not being intimidated. We were cheering out loud watching it!
# fittie 2013-04-03 00:21
But he still abstained on the bedroom tax votes ----he should be asked why
# .Scot 2013-04-03 00:57
I'm so glad that Ian has cleared up this confusion as we don't want to be confused between Workfare which stinking Labour introduced and the Bedroom tax which stinking Labour introduced to punish Crofters, low paid Farm Labourers and Unemployed in Private sector rented houses?

These possible confusions & misunderstandin gs required Ian Davidson's genius level of clarity. As Labour's attendance on a the BedroomTax protests could easily lead many to think there is a split within the Labour Party on their support for the punitive cuts in Housing Benefits for the lowest paid which Labour first introduced in 2008.

I think Ian missed a trick though, in not clearing up the rest of the confusion over the other Labour Party Welfare Reforms which ex-Labour Welfare Minister James Purnell, (now at the BBC) has warned Daft Labour MPs not to be seen joining protests against Labour's own flagship welfare policies of 2010 manifesto simply to gain local kudos.
# sblack505 2013-04-03 04:08
"...did not realise that political sectarianism was so alive and well."

Says the man who threatened Dr. Whiteford a 'doing' and tried to browbeat Izzy Fraser on what he childishly referred to as 'Newsnat Scotland'.

War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, 2+2=5, etc.
# mudfries 2013-04-03 05:45
Well he would say that wouldn't he.
# wee folding bike 2013-04-03 06:38
Ahhhh, the Hothersall defence, as predicted on WoS.

Ian Davidson must think we are really stupid. He can't bully all of us.
# thejourneyman 2013-04-03 06:57
He wants to claim "character assassination" after branding anyone who commemorates 700 years since Bannockburn as celebrators of the murder of 100s of thousands of Englishmen. Maybe he could start by engaging brain before his mouth or alternatively stop digging altogether. Independence will be a success if only to see this poor excuse for a man no longer in office.
# Dowanhill 2013-04-03 07:01
'Buffoon' - is the only word that springs to mind!
# km 2013-04-03 07:03
Why does Ian Davidson appear so arrogant to everyone, even to what I assume are his constituents? If he was confused, he could simply have said to the protester, "Sorry, which vote are you referring to?" and then gone onto explain his arguments at that time, rather than walk off. We pay your rather large salary, Mr Davidson, what's the point of attending such a rally if you're not prepared to engage with the people there?

His subsequent "explanation" is more spin than anything, and reminiscent of Iain Gray's humiliation in the sandwich shop and attempted cover-up later.
# Macart 2013-04-03 07:11
Took Mr Davidson long enough to reply to the accusation. Clearly he had a lot of thinking to do or would that be checking the tweets and trends to see which way the wind was blowing?
# Ken Mac 2013-04-03 08:38
Indeed Macart. Reminiscent of the Dr Whiteford affair. Then he disappeared for days leaving his henchmen to cover his back. When he re-emerged his story was that it was all an SNP smear campaign. Looks like he is using precisely the same tactics again. Just how do you assasinate the character of a bullying, misogynist liar?
# Macart 2013-04-03 12:26
I don't think Mr Davidson requires any help Ken Mac. HIs actions and those of his parliamentary party speak louder than any words.
# Old Smokey 2013-04-03 07:44
Question : Why is there no questioning over the inclusion of 'Edburgh Labour petion against the Bedroom Tax, highlighted in the Newsnet article It seems to have missed scrutiny, in that the reason why Davidson was at the demo in Glasgow, is that Labour MP's and MSP's have been 'recommended' by party managers to be there and to be seen, despite the obvious hypocracy. Its clear watching the Labour made video that they are jumping on the anti bedroom tax bandwagon with prominent showing of a certain MSP, who is slated to replace Lamont. Its all about Labour 'managing' the situation and to deflect query about their own stance on the bedroom tax
# Breeks 2013-04-03 07:52
If I'd called the outnumbered Scottish soldiers who's discipline and professionalism won the day at Bannockburn freeing our country from English invasion a bunch of 'murderers', then I might be nervous about showing my face in a crowd in Scotland.

People talk about the Scottish cringe, well Ian Davidson is my idea of the Scottish creep.
# neoloon 2013-04-03 08:12
Ian Davidson: the personification of boorish unionism.
# UpSpake 2013-04-03 08:17
Arrogance often arrises from insecurity and elevation way beyond capabilities. I have observed a number of Davidsons in my career.
Perhaps simply be chance, Davidson is way out of his depth. Perhaps up-bringing and or education has something to do with it or merely self egandisment. Whatever.
The man is a pit-bull and sooner or later he will step over the line and hang himself. He represents the very worst of spitting fire and brimstone engrained Labour in Scotland.
Hopefully, a dying breed.
# pomatiaH1 2013-04-03 08:17
That he used the word, 'sectarian', shows a fairly dangerous attitude to the Independence debate.
Unfortunately highlighting it could just fuel this ignorant attitude.
# Fungus 2013-04-03 08:39
To give him his due, Mr. Davidson really cheered me up this morning. When I read that he Quote:
is the victim of a "character assassination".
, oh how I laughed. I dare say that was the same reason Dr. Whiteford claimed that you threatened her?

|Unfortunately Mr.D whatever character you may have was assassinated by your actions a long time ago.
# BRL 2013-04-03 08:55
The obvious question about all of this is, why was a Labour MP abstaining on any vote that seriously impacted on his constituents. Be that a vote on 'workfare' or the 'Bedroom Tax'.

I always thought that an MP was elected to best represent his constituency and as has been seen recently some MPs don't even bother to turn up to vote, period.

Serious questions are not being asked.
# Bambi 2013-04-03 09:09
Character assassination?

How can you assassinate something decomposing in its grave?
# andymac96 2013-04-03 09:12
pistonbroke , thanks for questioning him and showing him up to be the Liar we all knew he was.If you had been a lassie he would have threatened you with a doing , not much of an example for the Labour Party. I just hope that all the true socialists come and join us in building a great country.
# zorbathejock 2013-04-03 09:19
He lied then and he's lying now.
# Kinghob 2013-04-03 10:18
Davidson has form on obfuscation and talking through his arse......he has a pure cheek talking about 'partisan politics' as he has used the westminster committee he chairs to talk down Independence, which this class one numpty calls 'separation'........of course he knew at the Bedroom Tax Rally that the question was not about Trident!
# Clarinda 2013-04-03 10:35
... and we all know what "thought" did when he thought he saw his feet sticking out of the end of his bed and got out to tuck them in.

Pleading ignorance is he ... eh? Well at least he's got something right.
# Angus 2013-04-03 10:42
Well done PistonBroke, I laughed at the appology at the end when you bumped into the Lady!
Davidson is a Bully, so hes a coward, as can be seen in the interview.
He was rejected by Dewar to represent Labour.. seems Labour are not too fussy aany more about the quality of their reps.
The Brit media will turn a blind eye to this unionst, the most intellectualy challenged MP.
# proudscot 2013-04-03 11:02
Ian Davidson is typical of a large number of his fellow Labour MPs, who substitute aggression and bluster for reasoned debate and facts - especially when discussing any aspect of Scottish independence and even more when their opponent is from the hated SNP.
# balgayboy 2013-04-03 11:51
The guy is a typical over promoted useless place man nonentity that the labour party has parachuted into a "once was safe seat" this is regardless of his political acumen, intelligence and socialists ideals. He is only there for the benefit of the labour party 'aka red tories" agenda and definitely not for his constituents. Put him on an live televised open debate regarding his party's policy and his visions for Scotland and all would be clearly revealed within the first few minutes..shambles.
# G. P. Walrus 2013-04-03 12:21
People can say he lied, Mr. Davidson says he misunderstood the question. People must draw their own conclusions from the evidence.

The main point though is that Ian Davidson was absent from votes on the Bedroom Tax. He has to answer how that best served his constituents.

Given the importance of this legislation to Mr. Davidson's constituents, why was he not there to oppose it?
# wee e 2013-04-03 12:26
"…it didn’t occur to me that he was referring to any Bedroom Tax vote as we were at an anti-bedroom-tax rally surrounded by placards saying No Bedroom Tax..."
# mato21 2013-04-03 13:18
For all those who wish something to be done regarding the biased referendum reporting Something is being done
Next Tuesday (9/3) at 1pm Nick Durie an activist with power in the community would like support at the French Embassy in Edinburgh Where he will draw on The Auld Alliance for help to get monitors put in to oversee the goings-on So here is someone doing something please give your support
Many will be aware of this chap he seems to be a thorn in the flesh of GCC
Maybe Newsnet could provide an article on this initiative to maximise support
# pistonbroke 2013-04-03 15:01
Just a wee update:

Mr Davidson insists he was at the bedroom tax demo to ''take part ''

Here are a few vids from before the encounter,as you can see he only skirts-around the periphery and does not join the main 'demo body' at any time before I ask him the question
# Independista 2013-04-03 16:46
If Rory Bremner is looking for a politician to lampoon, he could do a lot worse than give a good doing to Davidson. I think Ill email him with the suggestion!
# brusque 2013-04-03 18:36
Quoting Independista:
If Rory Bremner is looking for a politician to lampoon, he could do a lot worse than give a good doing to Davidson. I think Ill email him with the suggestion!

Jings! I thought that said harpoon :-) for one lovely minute.
# rog_rocks 2013-04-04 08:48
Did he not say in the video that his party abstained from the vote, does this mean that the Labour party, as well as abstaining from bedroom tax vote also abstained from workfare vote, how anti-people they are if they did.
From labour it all appears to be lies within lies with other lies to cover up their previous lies, all in their bid to support Tory rule over Scotland, what a disgrace, the red Tories right enough. Dear'O, who voted for this man and his party? Perhaps his nose was mistaken for a whale.
# NkosiEcosse 2013-04-04 12:05
If you have an "extra room" it may help if you buy a table and a couple of chairs from the local second hand furniture shop and install them in the "extra room" and call it a dining room, all the toffs have dining rooms and cannot stop you from having one too.

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