WALKERS got support in the House of Commons in the wake of a row over company products using Union Flag branding - although there was a warning about eating too much of it.

Andrea Leadsom, leader of the House of Commons led the backing after Moray's Conservative MP Douglas Ross attacked the "unacceptable and despicable abuse" the 120-year-old Scots firm received for using the British flag in some exports of shortbread abroad.

But she tempered her backing by saying the shortbread should only be eaten with "some modesty".

Joint managing director Jim Walker of the Moray-based family firm has said he is "not ashamed" to use Union Flag branding on what he described as a niche novelty products sold in London and abroad as gift items and insisted he and the company are "proud to be Scottish".

The 73-year-old executive from the producer of oatcakes, cakes and biscuits which sells products in over 60 countries spoke out against those who were "mis-calling" his company last week and warned that boycotts "kill Scottish jobs".

The shortbread comes in a Union Flag tin with a splash of tartan on the Walkers' label. The biscuit is also shaped into a Union Flag.

The debate over how Scottish products are marketed abroad was sparked by a Facebook post published last Sunday featuring a Walkers shortbread display that included the Union Flag tins and went viral.

Mr Ross took the debat to the House of Commons saying: "May we have a debate on local businesses that are also global brands? That would allow me to highlight the fantastic Walkers Shortbread company, which has been subjected to unacceptable and despicable abuse this week from nationalists in Scotland because just one of its many products features a Union Jack.

"Does my right hon. Friend agree that we should condemn those attacks and instead celebrate the success of Walkers Shortbread, which has been established in Moray for 120 years, employs hundreds of local people and is a great credit to our area?"

HeraldScotland:

Ms Leadsom responded: "I absolutely agree with him that Walkers Shortbread is both delicious and a vital UK brand, it is a fabulous Scottish brand and many of their tins are marked with 'I love Scotland' and others are marked with the Union Jack and very often for export.

"They are delicious snack only to be eaten in some modesty, we don't want to encourage over-eating shortbread or indeed any other sugary product.

"We love Walkers, its a great UK and Scottish product."

In October a campaign was started to protest against the increasing number of Union flags that have replaced the Saltire on Scottish produce.

The #KeepScotlandtheBrand movement has been growing after fed-up customer Ruth Watson began tweeting pictures of Scottish products in supermarkets packaged under a Union flag.