The tweet of battle

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A TRIO of local MSPs were this week embroiled in a twitter spat following a radio appearance.

Stewart Maxwell, Jackson Carlaw and Ken Macintosh took to the social networking site to exchange jabs following an appearance on Brian Taylor’s Big Debate.

The three were part of a panel, which also included professor Alan Miller of the Scottish Human Rights commission, on the BBC Radio Scotland programme which was recorded live at the Clarkston Hall.

In a programme which featured discussions on carers, Jimmy Carr and the future of Rangers, it was the Dalai Lama’s visit to Scotland which sparked the most heated debate.

After Dundee lord provost Bob Duncan pulled out of a meeting with the spiritual leader in order to attend a family funeral, Ken Macintosh questioned whether SNP’s downgrading of the visit was down to “genuine reasons or whether these are excuses for some suspect behaviour”.

He added: “In this case what looks to have happened is that pressure has been put on the SNP to withdraw”.

Mr Maxwell defended SNP colleague Mr Duncan. He said: “To cast aspersions on the lord provost of Dundee who is having to attend a family funeral today and who has said he will come from the family funeral and meet with the Dalai Lama at the reception afterwards is absolutely disgraceful”.

Following the recording, Jackson Carlaw tweeted Mr Macintosh saying: “As you well know I said politicians should meet Dalai Lama as they please. You called funeral a deliberate excuse #badtaste”.

This prompted Eastwood MSP Ken to label his Conservative rival an “SNP apologist”.

Meanwhile Stewart Maxwell claimed this was indicative of Labour becoming “the nasty party”.

Mr Macintosh has since denied claims he accused the Dundee provost of using the funeral as an “excuse”.

All the local politicians meanwhile criticised Jimmy Carr for his recent tax avoidance, but even Conservative Jackson Carlaw criticised David Cameron for naming and shaming the comedian, saying he “wasn’t comfortable with Jimmy Carr being singled out”.

Stewart Maxwell described the prime minister’s statement as “unfair” and “opportunistic”.

However, somewhat predictably, the politicians couldn’t come to the same level of agreement over independence.