MP Lucy Frazer’s ‘slaves to the colonies’ speech from five years ago re-surfaces in wake of Black Lives Matter movement

Lucy Frazer pictured on BBC Parliament speaking in the House of Commons in 2015.

Lucy Frazer pictured on BBC Parliament speaking in the House of Commons in 2015. - Credit: Archant

Social media has been ablaze with an attack on SE Cambs MP Lucy Frazer after video footage from five years ago of her maiden speech in the House of Commons re-surfaced.

Back then Ms Frazer apologised through a Scottish newspaper after using the speech to describe how Oliver Cromwell defeated the Scots at Dunbar and sent them as “slaves to the colonies”.

At the time she was criticised on Facebook and an online petition began against her – now with the Black Lives Matter movement her speech has found a new audience on Twitter.

The controversy has included Prime Minister Boris Johnson disputing claims that British was a racist country.

His spokesman said this week: “The PM doesn’t doubt that there continues to be discrimination and racism but does not agree that this is a racist country”.


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But on Twitter many users were angry about Ms Frazer, now prisons minister, joking that Scots be shipped to offshore ‘colonies’ as slaves.

Five years ago, the Sunday Herald in Glasgow quoted the MP as saying that she is “extremely sorry for any offence I have caused. That was not my intention. I have the highest regard for Scotland and the Scottish people”.

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Ms Frazer used her maiden speech to, firstly, as is the tradition, congratulate her predecessor Sir Jim Paice whom she described as an “honourable, loyal and principled man”.

But it was her later comments, when she described her constituency as being the home of Oliver Cromwell, that landed her in hot water with the Scots.

She reminded MPs it was Cromwell “who defeated the Scots at Dunbar, incorporated Scotland into his protectorate and transported the Scots as slaves to the colonies.

“Now, there is an answer to the West Lothian question—but not one, of course that I would recommend.”

The West Lothian question refers to whether MPs from Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales sitting in the Commons should be able to vote on matters that only affect England.

Twitter user @HelDoc369 labelled the joke “an utter disgrace”. “What was funny about that?” she asked.

“Just when you think you’ve reached the point where nothing can shock you anymore,” commented Peter Cavey.

Another wrote: “Slavery it’s all a bit of a laugh really for the Tories.

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