Page last updated at 13:12 GMT, Thursday, 12 March 2009

Minister says sorry for swearing

Stewart Stevenson
Mr Stevenson apologised for using an 'intemperate' word

Scottish Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson has apologised to parliament after swearing during a heated debate at Holyrood.

He lost his temper during a speech by Liberal Democrat MSP Alison McInnes on the future of rail services in the north east.

The off-microphone outburst was aimed at Lib Dem MSP Mike Rumbles.

Mr Stevenson later claimed Mr Rumbles had been passing comment on ministerial relationships with transport officials.

The exchange prompted Holyrood Presiding Officer Alex Fergusson to reprimand the minister after he used the word "bollocks".

Mr Stevenson told MSPs: "Let me start by apologising to Mr Rumbles for the intemperate word I used when he misrepresented in the gross way that he did in a sedentary comment about the relationship between ministers and Transport Scotland."

A number of MSPs have been picked up for using colourful language in parliament over the years.

In 2001, the former Labour minister Sam Galbraith was also caught out using the word "bollocks" during a Holyrood committee meeting.

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