Lord Digby Jones has hit back after his dig at Alex Scott’s pronounciation unleashed a wave of criticism and abuse on social media.
The former Government minister had suggested the presenter needed ‘elocution lessons’ after speaking with her London accent during the BBC’s coverage of the Olympics.
In a series of tweets the crossbench peer in the House of Lords said: ‘Enough! I can’t stand it anymore!
‘Alex Scott spoils a good presentational job on the BBC Olympics Team with her very noticeable inability to pronounce her ‘g’s at the end of a word.
‘Competitors are NOT taking part, Alex, in the fencin, rowin, boxin, kayakin, weightliftin & swimmin.’
Lord Digby has since revealed he was met with a barrage of abuse online, telling LBC: ‘I do wish people could criticise in a free democracy and understand that I have a point of view that doesn’t mean I should be cancelled.
‘It doesn’t mean that people have to be incredibly rude.’
He went on to state that he ‘objects strongly’ to Ms Scott ‘playing the class card’ in her response after the broadcaster retorted she was from ‘a working class family… and proud.’
She appeared on the BBC last night missing her ‘gs’ on purpose in an apparent act of defiance.
Lord Digby Jones has hit back after his dig at Alex Scott’s pronounciation unleashed a wave of criticism and abuse on social media
Speaking with host Andrew Castle earlier today, Lord Digby defended his position as he argued: ‘This has got nothing to do with her upbringing. This is not about accents.
‘It is about the fact that she is wrong. You do not pronounce the English language ending in a ‘g’ without the ‘g’ and I don’t want her as a role model – and she is one, and a good one – to influence [people] to think that it is very fashionable to go around dropping your ‘gs’.’
He said that it had not targeted Ms Scott specifically and had also criticsed journalist Beth Rigby and Home Secretary Priti Patel.
He claimed he had been speaking ‘on behalf of an awful lot of people’, adding: ‘I have had 50 per cent support and I’ve had 50 per cent criticism.’
Asked if he thought it would have caused this much of a storm, Lord Digby said: ‘Never in my wildest dreams. I don’t regret it for one second because I have a point – and I think I’m right. But I didn’t for a minute think it would cause this sort of storm, I really didn’t.’
The former Government minister had suggested the presenter needed ‘elocution lessons’ after speaking with her London accent during the BBC ‘s coverage of the Olympics
He went on to criticise Gary Lineker for calling him a ‘snob’ and said he ‘objects strongly’ to Ms Scott ‘playing the class card’ in her response, adding: ‘I came from very modest beginnings in Birmingham, my parents could never have afforded to send me to the school I went to – I got a scholarship.
‘I became a minister in Gordon Brown’s government and that’s why I went into the House of Lords.
‘I am not someone who was born with a silver spoon in my mouth and is standing here as a snob.’
It comes after Ms Scott, who was awarded an MBE in 2017 and accrued 140 caps for England, shrugged off the attack and said negative tweets only spur her on.
Football pundit Alex Scott (right) has hit back at Lord Digby Jones (left) after he claimed she needed elocution lessons and was ruining the BBC’s Olympics coverage because of her accent
It comes after Ms Scott, who was awarded an MBE in 2017 and accrued 140 caps for England, shrugged off the attack and said negative tweets only spur her on
She said: ‘I’m from a working class family in East London, Poplar, Tower Hamlets & I am PROUD.
‘Proud of the young girl who overcame obstacles, and proud of my accent! It’s me, it’s my journey, my grit.’
She went on to urge young children ‘who may not have a certain kind of privilege in life’ to never allow judgements on class, accent or appearance to hold them back and added: ‘Use your history to write your story. Keep striving, keep shining & don’t change for anyone.’
The 36-year-old concluded: ‘Tweets like this just give me the energy to keep going. See you tomorrow.. live on BBC baby.’