THE SNP have suspended Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath candidate, Neale Hanvey, from the party for 'anti-Semetic' remarks made by him two years ago.

He will remain on the ballot paper but will not be the SNP candidate for the seat and he has 'unreservedly apologised' for the remarks made online.

Mr Hanvey told the Times late last night: "As many will now know I have been suspended with immediate effect from the SNP and although I will remain on the ballot paper, I am no longer the SNP candidate for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath.

"The reason for my suspension relates to several social media posts I made over two years ago.

"One message I posted was a news article from Sputnik news relating to Mr. George Soros, which, I have since been advised, contained an image which is considered an anti-Semitic trope.

"On this occasion I did not give any thought to Mr Soros’ faith and did not consider the connotations of the image in that context. I fully accept that this was wrong and I apologise unreservedly for any offence caused. Whilst that was not my intention, that was the effect and I accept full responsibility for this serious misjudgement".

He added: "In another message I posted I drew parallels between the treatment of Palestinians and the unconscionable treatment of Jews in Europe during WW2.

"This was insensitive, upsetting and deeply offensive, and as I now understand, in contravention of the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism. For that I give an unequivocal apology.

"However upsetting this is for me, I fully support the decision of the National Secretary to suspend me.

"The First Minister has called for leadership on this issue and she is absolutely right to take a zero tolerance approach. My disappointment is that I have let down the First Minister and party colleagues by careless and casual use of language without giving it the proper thought it deserves. "Although I do not in anyway consider myself anti-Semitic, on reflection the language I used was, and this is clearly unacceptable.

"I accept there may not be the words to express my regret for those I have offended, but I am genuinely and deeply sorry.

"I hope in the days ahead my errors can be used in furthering the understanding of anti-Semitic language and seek to make amends for these dreadful errors of judgement, with the Jewish community".

The suspension of Mr Hanvey from the SNP will mean he will remain in the fight for the Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath seat but not as an official SNP candidate.

This situation will be a blow to the Nationalists who were targetting the seat was 'very winnable'.