Harman apologises for 'ginger rodent' jibe
Labour's deputy leader Harriet Harman was today forced to apologise for branding a senior coalition minister a "ginger rodent".
Mrs Harman admitted she had been "wrong" to use the description about Liberal Democrat Chief Treasury Secretary Danny Alexander in a speech.
A statement issued by Labour said: "Harriet Harman has today apologised for her comment about Danny Alexander and says it was wrong."
The jibe was the most personal of a number aimed at political opponents in Mrs Harman's address to the Scottish Labour Party conference in Oban today.
"Many of us in the Labour Party are conservationists and we all love the red squirrel," she said.
"But there's one ginger rodent we never want to see in the highlands of Scotland - Danny Alexander."
Mrs Harman also dismissed another Lib Dem minister, Scottish Secretary Michael Moore as "the invisible man", and said she wanted to make the SNP's Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond and his deputy Nicola Sturgeon "endangered species".
The joke about Mr Alexander, the flame-haired MP for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey, was greeted with laughter in the hall.
However, it quickly backfired as Mrs Harman found herself accused of insulting all Scotland's redheads.
George Lyon, Scottish Liberal Democrat election chair, said: "There is no depths to which the Labour Party will not stoop.
"They aren't fit to be in opposition, let alone in government."
The SNP also hit out at the Labour deputy leader over her "childish abuse" of Mr Alexander.
Nationalist MSP Shirley-Anne Somerville claimed the high proportion of redheads in Scotland meant Ms Harman's "silly remark isn't anti-Danny or anti-Lib Dem, it's anti-Scottish".
Ms Somerville, herself a redhead, added: "It's a gaffe that is overshadowing what Iain Gray thinks should be his big day."
She went on: "Coming from the doyenne of po-faced political correctness, these remarks show she and Labour have lost the plot since losing the election."
- 2 Russian girl takes her own life after parents find pornography on her computer
- 4 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 5 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
Russian girl takes her own life after parents find pornography on her computer
Kim Kardashian on Bruce Jenner's 'story': 'We support him no matter what, and I think when the time is right, he'll talk'
Michelle Obama highlights harsh restrictions faced by Saudi women after meeting King Salman without wearing a headscarf
Ball pool for adults opens in London
Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
£96000 - £200000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Looking for a better earning p...
£32000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A rapidly expanding company in ...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A PA is required to join a leading provider of...
£30000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...