A TORY MP had to apologise last night after coming under fire for making a sick joke in the House of Commons about Scots being sold into slavery.

During a debate on Thursday, the new Tory MP for South East Cambridgeshire, Lucy Frazer, laughed about how Oliver Cromwell defeated the Scots at Dunbar and sent them as "slaves to the colonies" which had her fellow Tories guffawing and chortling with joy.

Since Frazer, a former Queen's Counsel barrister, made the comments she has received angry messages sent to her Facebook page from Scots upset over the Tories' making light of slavery.

Loading article content

Last night she apologised after being contacted by the Sunday Herald, saying: 'I am extremely sorry for any offence I have caused. That was not my intention. I have the highest regard for Scotland and the Scottish people.'

Her inflammatory comments follow a row over SNP MPs clapping in the House of Commons.

The MPs clapped on at least three separate occasions during the response to their leader at Westminster, Angus Robertson. The speaker John Bercow told the SNP contingent to "show some respect".

During her maiden speech, mother-of-two Frazer talked about her constituency's chequered and colourful political past.

She said: "It is the home of Oliver Cromwell who defeated the Scots at Dunbar, incorporated Scotland into his Protectorate and transported the Scots as slaves to the colonies. "

Frazer then waited until the laughing, sneering and 'here, heres' abated before adding: "Now there is an answer to the West Lothian question - but not one that of course I would recommend."

Dr Tanja Bueltmann, a Scottish historian, has now written a blog about Frazer's "ill-judged" comments headlined "slavery - never good for taking cheap political jibes".

She said: "Slavery has a long history all around the world - and one that, sadly, still continues in too many places to this day.

"That fact alone, if nothing else, should be sufficient enough to prevent politicians from using a reference to slavery for taking cheap political jibes at the opposite side. Apparently not.

"And this brings me to Conservative MP Lucy Frazer. When debating the Queen's speech the other day, Mrs Frazer decided to include in her maiden speech a number of historical references to her constituency, South East Cambridgeshire.

"Amongst others she included a nod to Oliver Cromwell - someone who strikes me as a peculiar choice at the best of times but it is what Mrs Frazer said next that deserves scrutiny here: it was Oliver Cromwell 'who defeated the Scots at Dunbar and incorporated Scotland into his Protectorate and transported the Scots as slaves to the colonies.'

"This is an extremely ill-judged statement to make. That it has not caused more critical comment from other politicians escapes me.

"This holds true even more so because the statement was made worse by the laughter of Mrs Frazer's fellow Tory MPs, and significantly worse by Mrs Frazer ending her reference by saying 'there's an answer to the West Lothian Question' - an ending accompanied by even more laughter from her colleagues."

In one of the messages sent to Frazer's Facebook page, Chris Dunsmore pointed out the horrendous suffering by Scots transported overseas, pointing out those who did not survived were dumped in mass graves, ending his comment with "something to be proud of Lucy Frazer".

An SNP party spokesperson said: ''We know the Tories used incendiary and provocative language about Scotland during the election for short term electoral gain but these comments and the sneering laughter from fellow Tories - are pretty distasteful''.