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Last Updated: Sunday, 18 November 2007, 11:14 GMT
Labour adviser in awards debacle
Wendy Alexander and Matthew Marr
Matthew Marr was an adviser to Labour leader Wendy Alexander
A top Labour Party spokesman has been forced to resign after making a series of blunders at an awards ceremony.

Matthew Marr is believed to have called First Minister Alex Salmond a four-letter word at the Scottish Politician of the Year dinner.

It is also understood he was rude to a female nationalist MSP and abusive towards a cloakroom supervisor at the event on Thursday.

Mr Marr was a spokesman for Labour leader Wendy Alexander.

He was only brought on board to work at Holyrood in September.

Mr Marr described his behaviour as "entirely out of character" and issued an apology to Mr Salmond.

I would like to offer my sincere apologies to the First Minister for what I said and to anyone else who was offended by my behaviour
Matthew Marr

In a statement issued by the party, he said: "I believe that when people make a mistake then they should be prepared to take responsibility for it.

"Anyone who knows me will know my behaviour the other night was entirely out of character.

"I would like to offer my sincere apologies to the first minister for what I said and to anyone else who was offended by my behaviour.

"In all the circumstances I have decided the most appropriate course of action is to resign from my post as spokesman for the Labour leader at Holyrood."

Ms Alexander said she has accepted Mr Marr's offer to resign.

First time

She said: "His behaviour was out of character and he has apologised both to those affected and to me."

Mr Salmond was named Scottish Politician of the Year in Edinburgh on Thursday night.

He was awarded the title for leading his party into government for the first time in its history.

It is understood Mr Marr made his comment in front of other guests when the First Minister went up to receive his accolade.

He was also sitting near one of the first minister's special advisers.

Drinking session

Mr Marr was brought on board in September after Labour's then press spokesman at Holyrood, Brian Lironi, announced he was quitting his job.

Mr Lironi, a former political journalist, moved on after a matter of weeks in the post.

It is not the first time Labour has suffered embarrassment at the same political awards.

Former Labour peer Mike Watson was jailed in September 2005 for starting a fire and endangering lives at the ceremony's venue, the Prestonfield House Hotel in Edinburgh.

The former Glasgow Cathcart MSP admitted setting a curtain ablaze after a heavy drinking session at the 2004 event and served half of a 16-month sentence.

A potted history of the political gaffe

MSPs' expenses review announced
20 Jun 07 |  Scotland
Former MP claims MSPs work harder
11 Sep 07 |  Scotland
MSPs call for beefed up security
19 Sep 07 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife
Alexander sorry for polls defeat
24 Sep 07 |  Scotland
Think tank to map Labour policies
16 Sep 07 |  Scotland
Alexander leads Scottish Labour
14 Sep 07 |  Scotland


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