THE Scottish Labour MP reprimanded for using the word “Chinky” at a Burns Supper went on an all-expenses paid trip to China weeks before his racist outburst.

Hugh Gaffney, who enjoyed the £1,627 junket as a member of an all-party group on China, was there to “deepen” his understanding of the global superpower.

Labour is under pressure to punish Gaffney, the MP for Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill, after exclusively revealed he made highly-offensive comments at a student event this month.

Giving the Immortal Memory in front of young Labour members, the former postal worker said Roberts Burns had loved women, adding: “He started of being a farmer/But he really was such a charmer/Going for ales he frequent/Telling the lads and lassies he was not bent.”

The MP also told guests they were lucky he had shown up as he should be at home eating a “chinky”.

He agreed to undergo equality and diversity training and issued a grovelling apology:

“I want to offer my unreserved apologies for what I said; my remarks were deeply offensive and unacceptable.”

According to his House of Commons register of interest, Gaffney went on a five-day trip to Guangdong and Guangxi in November.

His share of the fact-finding mission – £908 in flights, £540 in accommodation, as well as other expenses – was paid for by the All Party Parliamentary China Group.

The APPCG, a cross-party forum, was listed as the donor, but “sponsorship” was provided by organisations including HSBC and City of London.




Pictures: Gaffney on China trip

Gaffney’s Commons entry stated the purpose of the trip: “To strengthen relations between the UK Parliament and the National People’s Congress of China; to support British businesses operating in China; and to deepen the understanding of parliamentarians of China.”

On his return from China the MP posted a summary on Facebook: “I had the privilege to be one of 8 MPs from the UK to go on an official visit to the People's Republic of China last week with the All Party Parliamentary Group for China.”

Adding, “With a no deal Brexit looming under the Tories we need to look outwards in the world and whilst on my visit I had the pleasure of meeting companies such as Huawei Mobile and seeing the technological boom going on in China.”

However, weeks later, Gaffney cracked a joke about a “chinky” and was criticised by the Chinese for Labour group. He is also co-vice chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Malawi.

SNP MSP Humza Yousaf said: "The fact that Hugh Gaffney recently went on an all-expenses paid trip to China, and is part of the APPG on China, make his comments all the more staggering – and I'm sure everyone involved in the APPG on China, something which exists explicitly to contribute positively to the UK-China relationship, will be deeply concerned about Hugh Gaffney's bigoted remarks.

"Casual racism and bigotry are serious issues that a serious leader wouldn't need to think twice about, and [Scottish Labour leader] Richard Leonard shouldn't need me to remind to him of that. We need deeds not words and at the very least, the whip should be suspended and withdrawn from Hugh Gaffney.

It also emerged last week that Labour MSP Anas Sarwar refused to sit next to Leonard following the Gaffney controversy. Sarwar snubbed the seating arrangement on the grounds it was “tokenistic” on the back of the Gaffney race row.

Gaffney could not be reached.