THE Scottish Secretary has been forced to distance himself from a Tory colleague who suggested Scots MP could commit suicide if they were unhappy with Brexit legislation.

David Mundell said it was right that Somerset MP Ian Liddell-Grainger had been “slapped down” by the Commons Speaker after making the remark on Tuesday.

The controversy arose when SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford complained to the Speaker about a lack of debate time on devolution aspects of the EU Withdrawal Bill.

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Mr Blackford said the UK government had failed to ensure adequate time for Scotland’s MPs to speak and began a question with: “What options are available to us in this House...?”

At which a voice was heard saying “suicide”, provoking outrage from SNP MPs.

A few minutes later, SNP MP Joanna Cherry raised the remark with Speaker John Bercow, identifying Mr Liddell-Grainger as the culprit, and asked if it had been in order.

Mr Bercow said he had not heard the remark, but would not have approved of it if he had.

He said he judged it to be “distasteful” rather than “disorderly”.

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He said: “Is the word ‘suicide’ disorderly? No, but in this context, it is distasteful, and I am sorry that it was used.”

Asked on BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland if the remark was appropriate, Mr Mundell said: “I didn’t hear those remarks, but of course it’s not appropriate.”

Asked what he would say to Mr Liddell Grainger, he said: “Ian Blackford and others raised the issue with the Speaker and the Speaker made it quite clear that was something that was inappropriate to say in a debate like that.”

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Asked if it showed contempt for Scots MPs, he said: “It shows inappropriate behaviour in the House of Commons. Unfortunately members across the House occasionally indulge in such behaviour and when it happens, as was the case yesterday, it should be slapped down.”