Alex Salmond tells Tory minister Anna Soubry: 'Behave yourself, woman'

The SNP MP compared Soubry to a 'demented junior minister'

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The Independent Online

It could be described as Alex Salmond's "calm down, dear" moment.

Many commentators after the general election were looking forward to seeing the former bellicose leader of the Scottish National Party back in the House of Commons following his victory in the constituency of Gordon, and it seems his latest parliamentary stint has got off to a fittingly controversial start.

Mr Salmond would obviously prefer to be sitting on the other side of the Commons benches in some sort of Labour-SNP pact rather than with the opposition; watching the Conservative government wield power for the next five years. Such frustration seemed evident when Mr Salmond lashed out at the Minister for Small Business, Anna Soubry, during a Commons debate.

Watch Mr Salmond lose his temper with Anna Soubry:

Mr Salmond was talking during a debate about laws affecting Scotland, with the SNP's Pete Wishart saying that the Scottish Affairs Select Committee should be made up mainly of MPs from Scotland. That would mean the committee would almost entirely be SNP members: Labour, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats have one seat each north of the border.

Mr Wishart made the statement in light of the fact that the Conservatives' only Scottish MP, David Mundell, is Scottish Secretary so he could not sit on the committee.

As Mr Salmond spoke in favour of Mr Wishart's comments, he was interrupted by Soubry on the front bench. Salmond told Ms Soubry that she was behaving like a "demented junior minister," adding: "She should be setting an example to her new members, not cavorting about like some demented junior minister. Behave yourself woman."

The exchange brought to mind David Cameron's exchange with Labour's Angela Eagle in 2011, when he told her to "calm down, dear" during a Commons debate. The Prime Minister later apologised to any women he offended by the remarks, stating that he was "not one of the lads" and his comments were "light-hearted."

While Mr Salmond has not said whether he will apologise, Ms Soubry took to Twitter to describe the SNP MP's words as "19th century" and accused the former party leader of not being able to handle a bit of criticism: