Police are investigating allegations of a hate crime at the House of Commons after a gay MP said a peer had called her a “queer”.

SNP MP Hannah Bardell said independent unionist peer Lord Maginnis launched a “homophobic attack” on her after she raised his “abusive” behaviour towards parliamentary staff when he forgot his security pass.

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The HuffPost news website reported that Lord Maginnis did not deny the her claims and quoted him saying: “Queers like Ms Bardell don’t particularly annoy me. OK, she’s got her cheap publicity out of it.”

Speaking during business questions, Livingston MP Ms Bardell said: “I’m sorry to say that the member from the other place (the House of Lords) who I have complained about has now launched a homophobic attack on me in the press.

“This will be reported to the police and I know that I and others consider this to be a hate crime.”

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The Metropolitan Police confirmed on Thursday evening that it was investigating an allegation of hate crime at the House of Commons.

A spokeswoman said: “The Met’s Parliamentary Liaison and Investigation Team is looking into an allegation of hate crime at the House of Commons made to them on Thursday January 9.”