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FOOTBALL pundit and former Morning Star columnist Alex Scott has said she is proud of her working-class accent after a snobby Tory lord demanded that she take “elocution lessons.”
Lord Digby Jones, a cross-bench peer who served as a trade minister under former New Labour prime minister Gordon Brown, hit out at the ex-Arsenal and England star in tweets on Friday night.
Lord Jones, who retired from the House of Lords last year, also criticised Sky News political editor Beth Rigby.
He wrote: “Enough! I can’t stand it any more! Alex Scott spoils a good presentational job on the BBC Olympics Team with her very noticeable inability to pronounce her ‘g’s at the end of a word.
“Competitors are NOT taking part, Alex, in the fencin, rowin, boxin, kayakin, weightliftin & swimmin. She’s hot on the heels of Beth Rigby at Sky … Can’t someone give these people elocution lessons?”
In response, Ms Scott wrote: “I’m from a working-class family in east London, Poplar, Tower Hamlets and I am PROUD. Proud of the young girl who overcame obstacles, and proud of my accent! It’s me, it’s my journey, my grit.”
She said tweets like Lord Jones’s “just give me the energy to keep going,” adding: “See you tomorrow … live on [the] BBC baby.”
Alongside a clip of the former US first lady Michelle Obama’s “When they go low, we go high” speech, she also tweeted: “A quick one to any young kids who may not have a certain kind of privilege in life. Never allow judgments on your class, accent, or appearance [to] hold you back.”
Ms Scott, who had a weekly column for the Morning Star when she was still playing, retired in 2017 after making 140 appearances for England and representing Team GB at the 2012 Olympics. The 36-year-old is now a pundit for the BBC and Sky Sports.
Among those offering support was Ms Rigby, who commented: “Keep doin’ what you do so brilliantly,” and Brent Central’s Labour MP Dawn Butler, who wrote: “Keep rising.”
Former England footballer Gary Neville also tweeted, saying: “Lord Digby Jones! Just say that name to yourself a few times! He has a say in how our country operates. I’m actually starting to see how revolutions occurred! Are you?”
Lord Digby Jones defended his comments on LBC today, saying: “I object strongly to her playing the class card.”
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