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Conservatives have branded SNP attempts to drag Tory MPs into a political spat over drunken antics on an official trip to Gibraltar a ‘desperate attempt by those involved to deflect attention away from their behaviour’.

Christian Wakeford, Bury South’s Conservative MP, and another Conservative participant on the trip were charged with having sex in excess during a visit by the UK Armed Forces in the Mediterranean Enclave. 

The claims came after three opposition MPs were accused of drinking heavily before arriving in the British Overseas Territory with the Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme – with one apparently having to be taken out of the airport in a wheelchair.

After the “drunken” display, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace slated Labour’s Charlotte Nichols and Drew Hendry from the SNP as showing disrespect.

However, Ms Nichols claimed she had less than five drinks. She was too ill to go to the British Overseas Territory welcome party. Since then, she has returned to home two days earlier.

The pair of Scottish nationalists accused the ministers in a “bizarre smear operation” and a “shameless effort to distract attention from the Tory corruption scandal”.

Meanwhile, a Tory source tonight said: ‘This is quite clearly a desperate attempt by those involved in the flight incident to deflect attention away from their behaviour.’

This comes after new accusations were made against Mr Wakeford. A source told the Manchester Evening News that: “People are stunned by the hypocrisy and ill-advised efforts to drag the Armed Forces into political game play.

“It was an error in judgment by him, which has spectacularly backfired. Given that two Conservative MPs were up on Gibraltar’s lash until the very early hours,

Bury South's Christian Wakeford and another Conservative on the trip were accused of carousing into the early hours on a visit to UK armed forces in the Mediterranean enclave

Christian Wakeford from Bury South and another Conservative who were on the same trip were accused by Bury South of having an affair into the wee hours while on a visit with the UK’s armed forces at the Mediterranean enclave

SNP's David Linden and Drew Hendry (pictured circled left and right respectively) have hit back at claims they were 'rude' and 'lairy' with airport staff

Drew Hendry and David Linden, both SNP members (pictured left and right) deny claims that they are ‘rudes’ or ‘lairys’ with airport staff.

Labour's Charlotte Nichols (pictured during the reopening of pubs this year) required the use of a wheelchair after drinking on a flight to Gibraltar, it has been claimed

Labour’s Charlotte Nichols was photographed during the reopening this year of pubs. She needed to use a wheelchair following a drink on flight from Gibraltar. It has been claimed

The SNP/Labour trio were accused of being ‘quite obviously drunk’ upon board their plane.

Reports say that witnesses described two SNP MPs to be ‘lairy and rude’ to airport staff and required military personnel to help them calm down. 

Ms Nichols required a wheelchair to make her way from the baggage claim to a military minibus, according to The Daily Telegraph.

Wallace stated that the conduct of Mr Wallace and his trio could ‘undermine respect for Parliament’. 

Warrington North MP Ms Nichols said that her condition was caused by medication.

‘Everyone had had a few drinks on the flight,’ she said in a statement to The Sun. The problem for me is my medication. This affected my tolerance. The amount I drank was the same as for the other. I do not know how many drinks I had — I wasn’t counting. I think it was five.   

Both Mr Hendry and Mr Linden hit back at the claims about their behaviour, branding it a 'bizarre Tory smear campaign'

Both Mr Hendry & Mr Linden responded to the accusations about their conduct, calling it a bizarre Tory-smear campaign’   

David Linden

Drew Hendry

Drew Hendry and David Linden, both SNP members, were accused of showing little respect for Armed Forces.

The trio of MPs received a dressing down from Defence Secretary Ben Wallace (pictured) after drinking 'heavily' en route to an official visit to troops in Gibraltar

The trio of MPs received a dressing down from Defence Secretary Ben Wallace (pictured) after drinking ‘heavily’ en route to an official visit to troops in Gibraltar

These three MPs were part of the Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme, which saw 14 others travel to Gibraltar to visit the military. 

Other members of staff from the Ministry of Defence as well as members of general public were also on board.

James Gray is a Tory MP who chairs the All Party Parliamentary Group on the Armed Forces. He told The Times that the three were staying in the British Airways Lounge in Heathrow. They made use of all the amenities.

He stated that the MPs arrived at the airport ‘pretty well-oiled. 

Two SNP males were reported to be ‘lairy and ‘rude’ after their coronavirus passes didn’t work at the airport gates. Military staff was called in to stop them from becoming too upset. 

According to reports, MoD chiefs were informed by military escorts that the MPs behaved badly on the flight. 

Hendry posted the picture of himself with troops in Gibraltar. Hendry also said that it was deeply disappointing that Tory MPs made false claims as a shameless attempt at diverting attention from Westminster’s corruption scandal.

“It is their decision. As we commemorate Armistice Day, I will be focusing on my work and respecting the troops.

Glasgow East MP, Mr Linden tweets: “Incredibly disappointed at what appears to have been a bizarre Tory media smear campaign in today’s media but I’ll let the politics go to other people.”

SNP spokesperson reiterated that allegations of improper conduct were false and added: “Drew Hendry MP, David Linden MP were honored to be invited at this significant event. They attended all engagements including the dinner and welcome meeting shortly after landing.

“Instead trying to distract attention from the Tory corrupt scandal engulfing Westminster”, Ben Wallace should be apologizing for his involvement in it. This includes voting to release Owen Paterson.

James Gray, a Tory MP and chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for the Armed Forces, told The Times: ‘These three, as I understand it, were in a British Airways lounge in Heathrow and made full use of the facilities’

James Gray (a Tory MP, chairman of All Party Parliamentary Group to the Armed Forces), told The Times, “These three were, according to what I understand, in a British Airways lounge at Heathrow. And they made full use the facilities.”

Nicola Sturgeon, speaking to reporters at Cop26 summit also got into the row.

She stated that she believed there were allegations against two of my MPs. Some may claim it was an attempt to divert attention from Conservatives’ own troubles.

“I’m familiar with Drew and David and they claim that these accusations are not based. That is something I have faith in.”

Elle stated that she hadn’t spoken to MPs directly and added: “The allegations against Drew and David are false. Drew has made this clear.

“I think it is possible for Conservatives to ask why they make these kinds of allegations about Remembrance Day. Given the nature Drew and David have been doing, I believe that’s the question.

“I am very familiar with Drew and David and I can trust them if they claim that these claims are false.” 

Gray stated that he would have laughed at the trio if they had met up at an officer’s dinner, but instead he chose to speak with them.

Retired lieutenant colonel (ret.) and serving major served as’minders’ on the flight and witnessed the three MPs drink, according to reports.  

Now, Wallace will complain to both the Labour leaders and to the SNP. “This behavior is disrespectful for the long-lasting work of our Armed Forces,” said Defence Secretary.

The Armed Forces program is an opportunity to both the military and Parliamentarians to communicate. 

This behavior puts the military in an awkward position, and could lead to disrespect for Parliament.

The MPs were visiting troops in Gibraltar (pictured) as part of Remembrance Day

In Remembrance Day, members of the Parliament visited Gibraltar troops (pictured). 

The Daily Telegraph was told by a source that the MPs were “quite clearly drunk” while checking in, going through the boarding process and then drinking heavily afterward.

It was claimed that Ms. Nichols had become ‘incapable through alcohol on the flight over to Gibraltar, to the point she needed to be transported to the wheelchair transport’. According to the claim, she was transferred to a hotel for her own safety.

The Times reports that Labour MP, after having spoken to whips of the party, was back in the UK just two days before the deadline.

Two SNP MPs attended and made all appointments in Gibraltar. 

Although they all said that they hadn’t been drunk at the airport, they did not dispute their drinking habits.  

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