Connery in knighthood row

SCOTTISH Nationalists are question the Government over reports that actor Sean Connery was refused a knighthood because of his separatist views, writes Andrew Buncombe.

Donald Dewar, the Secretary of State for Scotland, has been accused of personally intervening to have Connery's name scrapped from the New Year's Honours List.

Some might enjoy the irony of the man, who as his most famous alter ego, took on the likes of James Bond's arch enemy, Smersh, to save the free world, being allegedly snubbed by the English establishment.

But last night the Scottish National Party leader, Alex Salmond, said that all Scotland would be outraged. "I think Donald Dewar has done his reputation irreparable damage. Sean Connery ... has contributed as an international ambassador very considerably." He said he would be tabling parliamentary questions.

Mr Dewar yesterday declined to comment but Maria Fyfe, Labour MP for Glasgow Maryhill, said she was pleased Connery had not been knighted. "The attitude he has shown towards violence towards women is one that is not compatible with being honoured in that way."

Her comment was dismissed by the SNP as a crude smear. The party said it was certain the only reason Connery had lost out was because of his politics.

Connery, who will undoubtedly be shaken not stirred by the affair, has been a member of the SNP since 1991.

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