Tokyo 2020: Olympics slammed by Bill Maher
The former minister came under fierce criticism online, and was accused of “misplaced snobbery” by actor and comedian Stephen Fry. Appearing on LBC Radio Lord Jones insisted the criticism had “nothing to do with her upbringing”.
He said: “I do wish people could criticise in a free democracy and understand that I have a point of view that doesn’t mean I should be cancelled.
“It is about the fact that she is wrong. You do not pronounce the English language ending in a ‘g’ without the ‘g’ and I don’t want her as a role model – and she is one, and a good one – to influence [people] to think that it is very fashionable to go around dropping your ‘gs’.”
He continued: “I don’t regret it for one second because I have a point – and I think I’m right.
“But I didn’t for a minute think it would cause this sort of storm, I really didn’t.”
The BBC’s Alex Scott came under fire over her accent (Image: GETTY)
Lord Digby Jones has stood by his remarks (Image: GETTY)
Lord Jones served as Minister of State for Trade under Labour, from June 2007 to October 2008.
An outspoken supporter of Brexit, he sat in the House of Lords as a non-aligned crossbencher until last year.
Ms Scott, who grew up in East London, was presenting coverage of the Olympics when she attracted Lord Jones’ ire.
He tweeted: “Enough! I can’t stand it anymore!
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“I’m from a working class family in East London” (Image: GETTY)
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 the Home Secretary for God’s sake! Can’t someone give these people elocution lessons?”
Ms Scott later hit back on Twitter, with a post retweeted more than 12,000 times.
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Lord Digby Jones was criticised by Stephen Fry (Image: GETTY)
She wrote: “I’m from a working class family in East London, Poplar, Tower Hamlets & I am PROUD.
“Proud of the young girl who overcame obstacles, and proud of my accent!
“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 hold you back.”
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A number of prominent public figures jumped to Ms Scott’s defence on social media.
Addressing Lord Jones Mr Fry said: “You are everything linguists and true lovers of language despise.
“Also, since we’re being picky, you are not “Lord Digby Jones”, you are Digby, Lord Jones. There’s a world of difference.
The Tokyo Olympic opening ceremony (Image: GETTY)
“But however you’re titled, you disgrace the upper house with your misplaced snobbery.”
Ex-professional footballer Gary Neville commented: “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?”