Olympics presenter Alex Scott has said she is “proud of my accent” after former Labour minister and ex-House of Lords member Digby Jones criticised her pronunciation.
Lord Jones, who was educated at private Bromsgrove School, tweeted on Friday that “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”.
Scott responded by saying she was proud to be from a working class family in east London.
“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.
“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 (to) hold you back.
“Tweets like this just give me the energy to keep going.”
The former Arsenal and England footballer, who was recently announced as the new host of the BBC’s Football Focus, received support from colleagues, athletes and politicians.
“I like natural, authentic accents. What annoys me is people putting on posh accents,” wrote Andy Burnham, Greater Manchester mayor.
Labour MP Dawn Butler replied “Keep rising” and Jess Phillips tweeted that regional accents add “to the joy of the Olympics coverage”.
Golfer Thomas Bjorn, former footballer Micah Richards and ex-rugby international Will Carling added to the many voices of support, while Arsenal Women tweeted: “Keep being you, @AlexScott. Forever proud!”
BBC colleague Eilidh Barbour also took to Twitter to defend Scott.
She wrote: “This thread is what makes @AlexScott such a wonderful role model. Keep rising girl.”
Lord Jones is a former director-general of the Confederation of British Industry, and was a Labour transport minister and a member of the House of Lords between 2007 and 2020.