BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: UK: Scotland  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Tuesday, 26 November, 2002, 18:42 GMT
Crews welcome resignation
Glasgow firefighters
"This is a fair fight and his remarks are out of order"
Striking firefighters have welcomed the resignation of Dr Richard Simpson, the deputy justice minister alleged to have called them "fascist bastards".

These are the responses of some, as they stood around a brazier at Maryhill Fire Station in Glasgow.

  • "I think it was a wholly inappropriate and inflammatory remark to make and I think it is right the man has resigned."

  • "After the remark he made it just shows you how badly the government has dealt with this whole issue."

  • "The fact he's resigned shows they made a big mistake and I hope people stand up and pay attention to it because we're here for a cause and we think it's a very good cause."

  • "These are the people that are supposed to be the head of our country and they shouldn't be coming out with comments such as fascists. This is a fair fight and his remarks are totally out of order."

Dr Simpson's remarks were first reported in the Scotland on Sunday newspaper.

Its political editor Jason Allardyce, said: "I was absolutely gobsmacked. I couldn't believe he had come out with the kind of inflammatory language that he had."

'Disgraceful comments'

The Fire Brigade Union's Lothian and Borders branch secretary, Gavin Barry, said: "The view of our members at present is one of disappointment that he's actually been allowed to resign.

"We believe he should have been sacked for these disgraceful comments.

"Now that he's not a minister perhaps he'll go and look up 'fascist' in a dictionary to see what it actually means."

The Scottish Socialist Party leader, Tommy Sheridan, said: "Anyone who refers to these men and women who daily save lives as 'fascists' and 'bastards' simply isn't fit to hold office.

"I hope Jack McConnell told him to resign because if he never resigned, he should have been sacked."

'Labour arrogance'

"I hope the person who replaces him will start backing the firefighters and stop attacking them."

Scottish National Party leader John Swinney accused the first minister of a "classic cover-up" over Dr Simpson's alleged remarks.

He said: "Until lunchtime, Jack McConnell was willing to back a man who used deeply offensive language to describe men and women who risk their lives every day on our behalves.

"Labour has been in power too long and in their arrogance they think they can get away with anything. It's time to get rid of them."

Scottish Conservative spokeswoman Annabel Goldie said: "The executive is failing to understand what the people expect by the way of good government.

"And it is blatantly, blatantly betraying and failing the people of Scotland."

See also:

26 Nov 02 | Scotland
26 Nov 02 | Scotland
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Scotland stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Scotland stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes