Alex Scott has hit back at a former government minister after he criticised her pronunciation during her coverage of the Tokyo Olympics.
The BBC presenter spoke out after ex-House of Lords member Digby Jones tweeted she “spoils a good presentational job… with her very noticeable inability to pronounce her ‘g’s at the end of a word”.
“Enough! I can’t stand it anymore!” the former Labour trade minister wrote on Twitter.
“Competitors are NOT taking part, Alex, in the fencin, rowin, boxin, kayakin, weightliftin & swimmin.”
Enough! I can’t stand it anymore! Alex Scott spoils a good presentational job on the BBC Olympics Team with her very noticeable inability to pronounce her ‘g’s at the end of a word.Competitors are NOT taking part, Alex, in the fencin, rowin, boxin, kayakin, weightliftin & swimmin
— Lord Digby Jones (@Digbylj) July 30, 2021
Scott, a former Arsenal and England footballer, directly addressed the criticism as she spoke proudly about her east London background.
“I’m from a working class family in East London, Poplar, Tower Hamlets & I am PROUD,” she tweeted.
“Proud of the young girl who overcame obstacles, and proud of my accent!
“It’s me, it’s my journey, my grit.”
Scott also had a message for her younger fans, saying: “A quick one to any young kids who may not have a certain kind of privilege in life.
“Never allow judgments on your class, accent, or appearance hold you back. Use your history to write your story.
“Keep striving, keep shining & don’t change for anyone.
“Tweets like this just give me the energy to keep going.”
Scott, who was recently announced as the new host of the BBC’s Football Focus, received support from colleagues, athletes and politicians.
London mayor Sadiq Khan tweeted: “Never stop being you, Alex. You’ve broken down barriers for young Londoners.”
Responding to Lord Jones, Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham wrote: “I like natural, authentic accents. What annoys me is people putting on posh accents.”
Former footballer Micah Richards and ex-rugby international Will Carling added to the many voices of support for Scott, while Arsenal Women tweeted: “Keep being you, @AlexScott. Forever proud!”
Lord Jones, who was educated at the private Bromsgrove School, is a former director-general of the Confederation of British Industry and was trade minister under ex-prime minister Gordon Brown.
He was a member of the House of Lords between 2007 and 2020.