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Haggis Dispute In Parliament Ends With SNP Branding Lord Winston A "Tim'rous Beastie"

Winston said Scotland's national dish is "revolting".

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Tess Watson / Yoi Mok / PA

A House of Lords debate over haggis exports has culminated in the Scottish National Party calling Lord Winston a "sleekit, cow'rin, tim'rous beastie" after the Labour peer dismissed Scotland's national dish as "revolting".

The lords were debating whether to call on the US to lift its import ban on the Scottish delicacy, which the US Department of Agriculture banned in the early 70s because it contains sheep's lungs.

The BBC reported that Conservative peer Lord McColl of Dulwich said the ban should be lifted as soon as possible for the benefit of 24 million American Scots, and suggested it might help the US to tackle its obesity problem.

Lord McColl said haggis "satisfied hunger very much more than the junk food which Americans consume".

However, Labour peer and professor, Lord Winston, said he was "surprised" by Lord McColl's remarks "given the questionable issue about haggis", and said he found it "revolting". He added that, if haggis can deal with obesity, then "maybe we should be promoting it a little bit in Glasgow".

An insulted SNP MP, Pete Wishart, said Lord Winston's comments were "an affront tae haggis" and he replied by channeling Scotland's national poet Robert Burns.

"If Burns was around today, no doubt he'd brand Lord Winston a 'sleekit, cow'rin, tim'rous beastie' for this affront tae a haggis," said Wishart.

"What's really revolting is the millions of pounds of taxpayers' money spent funding the bloated House of Lords year on year which seems to serve little purpose other than to allow unelected peers to insult our national dish."

Food minister, Lord de Mauley, said the EU and UK governments will work to get the haggis ban lifted by the US.

Jamie Ross is a Scotland reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Edinburgh.

Contact Jamie Ross at

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