Hannan issues ‘unreserved apology’ following on-air spat

THE columnist, sports writer and pundit, Martin Hannan, has issued an “unreserved apology” after a comment made to fellow Scots journalist, Alan Cochrane, on the BBC this morning.

Speaking on Radio 5 live about Britishness, in the wake of the Olympic Games, the debate got particularly heated, culminating in Hannan – who makes no secret in his writing, where appropriate, of his Nationalist sympathies – saying Cochrane was a “fascist Tory git”.

Hannan told allmediascotland.com he felt he had been patronised by Cochrane – who writes for the Daily Telegraph – and had lashed out, intending to say he felt Cochrane was patronising him.

He issued an immediate on-air apology, but Cochrane had already gone off-air.

Hannan told allmediascotland.com: “Alan Cochrane is not a fascist and I issue an unreserved apology. I was hurt, because I felt he was being highly patronising, but I should not have reacted in the way I did. Hopefully, pints will be had, but my view is that he seems to be ignoring the democratic right of the Scottish Government to hold a referendum [on Scotland’s constitutional future] in 2014. But this is a man who refers to [First Minister] Alex Salmond as Dear Leader and wearing an Il Duce-style haircut, so robust insults, however wrong, are something that happens.”

Cochrane told allmediascotland he was “not interested”.