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Nationalist MSP asked disabled Celtic fan to support a different team

MSP John Mason told disabled season ticket holder changing teams would address his accessibility problems

A NATIONALIST MSP defended himself today after telling a disabled Celtic fan to support a football club nearer his home.

Glasgow City Council is proposing to restrict car parking around Celtic Park in Glasgow’s east end on match days — a move which has been supported by local SNP MSP John Mason.

A retired season ticket holder, named only as Gordon, wrote to the club protesting against the changes. He explained that his disability meant he could not walk for more than 10 minutes at a time and said he would be unable to attend games should the restrictions be introduced.

He copied the email to Mr Mason, hoping that his case would garner the politician’s support. But in an email Gordon shared with the website Celtic Quick News, the MSP replied: “Could you think of supporting a smaller more local club that would appreciate your adding to their crowd?”

Labour MSP James Kelly said: "This is an outrageous comment from John Mason. 

"Rather than representing the interests of a disabled man who wants to bring his custom and spend his money in John Mason's constituency, he is just telling him to go support another football team.

"If John Mason's attitude is to tell people to stay away from the East End of Glasgow he'll soon find the voters in Shettleston will send him packing too."

Asked to explain his comments yesterday, Mr Mason said he supported the restrictions because his constituents were “effectively trapped in their homes” by motorist fans on match days.

“In response to several folk raising the question of disabled fans or others who could not walk far, I have said that there is plenty of room for these fans to park if those who are able to walk 20 minutes would park further away in a more considerate manner,” he said.

“The parking problem is not caused by disabled fans.

“I am a Clyde supporter and would like to see more fans considering supporting smaller more local teams … like Clyde.

“To be fair to the gentlemen I was chatting to on social media or email, he told me he does also support a local team, so well done to him.”

Mr Kelly said the “ludicrous” response came from “a politician who has been a constant source of embarrassment for the SNP.”

Last year, Mr Mason was accused of sexism and contributing to rape culture, after he backed a second independence referendum using the analogy: “The girl does not always say Yes first time!”


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