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Ex-GP resigns ministerial post in firefighter row

A former GP has quit his Scottish ministerial post after he was quoted as calling striking firefighters 'fascists' and 'bastards'.

Dr Richard Simpson, pictured, said he was quoting members of the public but still felt it was his duty to resign as deputy justice minister.

The row erupted after the Scotsman on Sunday quoted an unnamed minister as saying: 'These people aren't socialists, they're protectionists, fascists ­ the kind of people who supported Mussolini. We must not give in to these bastards.'

Dr Simpson, who was a GP at Bridge of Allan, near Stirling, for nearly 20 years before becoming an MP in 1999, said he did not hold the views attributed to him.

'If I inadvertently gave that impression at the end of a long and exhausting week, I apologise,' he said.

Dr Simpson remains the Labour MP for Ochil.

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