A NATIONAL reader has told of her shock after Marks & Spencer responded to a complaint about Scottish whisky being branded British by telling her to respect the result of the 2014 referendum and accept that Scotland was now “a part of the country known as England”.

Edith Davidson, from Innerleithen, wrote to the company last November after reading a story in The National about the high street giant labelling Scottish whisky as British, but whisky made south of the Border as English.

READ MORE: Marks and Spencer promoted 'English' or 'British' whisky — but refused to use 'Scottish'

She told M&S she was incensed by the report and suggested it could be seen as an insult to Scottish people. In an astonishing, rambling and often incoherent reply, the upmarket food and clothes shop got back to her almost immediately, telling her to know her place.

The shop’s customer service representative wrote: “I have received the email from you regarding your order and I am able to inform you that the National Scottish Referendum has taken place and the majority of Scotland decided that the lovely country of Scotland would belong in and stay within the UK and will be a part of the country known as England.”

The representative adds: “I know that it is hard to get used to but I have come around to the idea that Scotland is part of the United Kingdom and I think eventually everyone would agree when it is about reputation of a Nation that is as great as Great Britain then especially near Christmas when they sell chocolate scottie dog at Harrods and have done for many years as well as the Food Halls selling Scottish Salmon, that Marks and Spencers have only in reason been able to manufacture and produce the products that we are proud are from Scotland.”

The response goes on: “Especially the M&S Whiskey. I am sorry if you thought that we are trying to offend anyone. We Love Scotland.”

Davidson told The National: “I showed it to one or two people and they were absolutely horrified.”

It was news that sales at M&S had fallen over Christmas that prompted Davidson to contact us. She said: “I saw that Marks & Spencer was losing money – well they need to be told why they’re losing money. Some of us will never go into their shops again.”

A spokeswoman for the chain said it, too, was horrified and appalled by the response, and that it was being taken seriously by the firm’s senior management.

She said: “We would like to wholeheartedly apologise to Ms Davidson for this letter, which in no way reflects the view of M&S.

“It is completely unacceptable and we will be in touch with Ms Davidson directly to offer our apologies.

“The person responsible for writing this email is no longer associated with our company and has not worked on our behalf for some time. We’d like to reassure customers that this will not happen again.“

Ahead of the 2014 referendum on Scottish independence, the then M&S chief executive Marc Bolland spoke out against a Yes vote.

In a joint letter to a newspaper, signed by Bolland and the bosses of Kingfisher, which owns B&Q and Timpson shoes, they warned of “more red tape and higher costs” if Scottish voters chose to back independence.

They also warned that an independent Scotland would “have to re-apply for membership” of the EU.

Shares in M&S fell 5.6 per cent on Thursday after reporting falling revenues in the 13 weeks to December 30.