An immigration officer allegedly tried to flirt with a feminist by doubting her nationality because Scottish women are ‘ugly as hell’ – while the holidaymaker was stood with her girlfriend.

Brenna Jessie flew to Portugal in April for a surfing holiday with her partner, but says she was stunned by the surprise greeting from airport passport control when they landed in holiday hotspot Faro.

The 25-year-old from Edinburgh, says the guard who checked her passport and said she was ‘pretty’, before quizzing her over whether she was really from Scotland.

Ms Jessie and her girlfriend were then left gobsmacked when he reportedly declared the reason for his query was because Scottish females are usually ‘ugly as hell’.

The women’s rights campaigner, who also works with victims of domestic violence, branded the alleged remark sexist and made her feel uncomfortable.

Brenna, from Edinburgh in Scotland, said: ‘I walked away in shock, I was totally lost for words.

‘It was only afterwards that the fury hit me that he had the cheek to say something like that.

‘Making such a misogynistic comment shows utter disrespect and general disregard for women.

‘He has also clearly never been to Scotland – as a gay woman I can say that we are not short of beautiful women here.’

She claims it’s not the first time she has experienced unsolicited offensive and sexist comments from men, which she says she encounters on a daily basis.

‘There was an instance where a man yelled at me and told me that he would like to put his foot in me,’ she said.

‘I’m exposed to sexism on a daily basis – it’s actually one reason we wanted to escape on holiday, but it was the last thing I would expect in an airport security situation

‘I’ve experienced sexism abroad regularly in places like France and Italy, like being wolf-whistled and catcalled, but I’ve never had that response to being Scottish before.

‘I think that really threw me because I have never heard anyone say something like that about Scottish women.

‘I didn’t really feel I had the power or capability to challenge him because when you’re going through security, you just want it to be over with as quickly as possible. I do wish I’d been able to tell him directly that it was inappropriate and sexist


‘I wish I challenged it because without people willing to say, “you did something wrong”, this goes on. But he is to blame in that situation.’

The Portuguese Immigration and Border Service (SEF) said: ‘The employees of the Portuguese Immigration and Border Service are responsible for providing a high-standard public service to their users, wherefore not having knowledge of the situation in particular, SEF enhances that the performance of Inspectors of the Immigration and Border Service is carried out exclusively within the compliance of the Code of Ethics to which they are bound to.

‘For any procedure to be triggered identifying the situation, SEF appreciates the complainant may identify the situation at the appropriate place presenting the date, time and the identification of author of the referred comment.’