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Monday, November 8, 1999 Published at 11:26 GMT

UK: Scotland

MP injured in airport accident

The accident happened at Aberdeen Airport

Wheelchair-using Labour MP Anne Begg has been injured in a road accident outside an airport.

The MP for Aberdeen South suffered a broken leg and a broken wrist and was knocked from her wheelchair in the accident at Aberdeen Airport.

It is understood she was injured as she crossed from the airport car park to the terminal building.

[ image: Anne Begg: In good spirits]
Anne Begg: In good spirits
Grampian Police said the driver of the car was not injured and a man has been charged in connection with the incident.

The 44-year-old was taken to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary where she was said to be in pain but remained in good spirits.

Ms Begg's researcher, Sarah Duncan, said the MP faced up to three months in hospital but hoped to continue working as much as possible by telephone and writing letters.

She added that Ms Begg suffers from a genetic condition called Gaucher's disease, which results in brittle bones, making it more difficult for breaks to heal.

The MP had told her: "They may keep me in hospital but they will not put me out of action."

Ms Duncan added: "Obviously she's in pain and it's a bit of a shock, but she's in really good spirits.

'Brave woman'

"She is an incredibly brave woman and she's been remarkably calm about it.

"We really want to get the message over that she's going to be fine and as soon as she can she's going to do as much work as she can."

Constituency office employee Pamela Brown said Ms Begg had been on her way to catch a flight to London when the accident happened.

She said Miss Begg was coping well with her injuries and added: "She's really cheery and is joking with the staff."

Ms Begg, who is the only wheelchair-using MP, has been vocal in promoting the rights of disabled people in the House of Commons.

Disabling condition

A former English teacher, she has suffered from the rare disabling condition from the age of 28.

She was elected in Aberdeen South in the 1997 general election and defeated Conservative Raymond Robertson on a big swing.

Ms Begg is a member of the Scottish Affairs Select Committee and the Scottish General Teaching Council.

She was made "Disabled Scot of the Year" in 1998 and was described as an inspiration to others with disabilities.

Ms Begg was elected to Labour's National Executive Committee at her first attempt in October 1998 but lost her place to Dennis Skinner in 1999.

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