LABOUR'S Ian Murray has apologised after branding an SNP MP “ridiculous and pointless” during a Commons debate on independence.

The shadow Scottish secretary accepted he had overstepped the mark when responding to Angus MacNeil - who represents Na h-Eileanan an Iar - in the House of Commons on Wednesday.

MacNeil had noted Murray was making good points about economic problems caused by the UK Government, adding: “On the basis of that would he prefer an independent Scotland with a Labour or SNP government or a Scotland inside the UK with a Tory government?”

Murray replied: “I’d prefer Scotland within the UK with a Labour government.

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“What an absolutely ridiculous and pointless intervention from a ridiculous and pointless Member of Parliament … is that unparliamentary? OK, I apologise.”

Another MP could be heard shouting “it’s accurate” before Murray repeated his apology.

MacNeil later raised a point of order to say: “When you ask a question of a colleague in Parliament who finds it difficult to understand, is it in order to respond with insults?”

Deputy speaker Nigel Evans noted Murray had apologised immediately, adding: “I think you should really accept that with good grace.”

Murray went on: “I did apologise and I do so again.”

MacNeil shouted he accepted it.