SCOTTISH Labour have promised to take "swift action" against a senior Labour councillor who told Anas Sarwar that Scotland wasn't ready for a “brown, Muslim Paki” leader.

The party has been left reeling by the revelations in today’s Daily Record, and a spokesman has said they want to thoroughly investigate the issue.

The Glasgow MSP has declined to name the individual.

He told the paper that he had approached the senior councillor during last year’s leadership contest, asking him for an endorsement.

Sarwar said: “A leader of a Labour council group told me very clearly the reason that he couldn’t support me in the leadership election was that, in his words, Scotland wasn’t ready for a ‘brown, Muslim, Paki’.

“When I challenged him on that, saying it was a racist, Islamophobic comment, he said that wasn’t his opinion, it was his fear about what his constituents believe.

“He later apologised saying, in his words, that he got caught up in ‘pub banter’. To which I said, ‘I don’t know what pubs you are hanging around in but you need to get a different circle of friends'.”

The politician also revealed that another prominent Labour member balked at supporting him after he saw picture of Furheen Sarwar wearing a headscarf.

He explained: “My wife wears a hijab and she said, based on the picture she saw of my wife, she couldn’t vote for me in the leadership election. The point I would make about my wife is she was born in Scotland, she was raised in Scotland, she studied at Glasgow University, she is a dentist by profession, she works in the NHS.

“She is a normal, passionate, hard-working Scot who is just as mad as anybody else when she needs to be, just as funny as anybody else when she needs to be.

“She is a Scot in every way possible and her identity is way more than what she chooses to wear on her head.

“What right do I have to dictate to any woman, far less my wife, about what she should and shouldn’t wear? What a woman chooses to wear, how she chooses to express herself, how she chooses to present herself – either in public or private – is the right of that individual woman.

“And anyone who believes in gender equality should respect that, regardless of what religion the person happens to come from. That is a fundamental Labour principle.”

Scottish Government minister Humza Yousaf tweeted his support, pointing out that not only was he elected in a constituency that's 95 per cent white, but that the UK's first ever Muslim MP, Mohammed Sarwar, came from Scotland.

Yousaf tweeted: "Utterly shocking. Sorry to hear @AnasSarwar and his wife Furheen had to endure this.

“Anas may feel he shouldn't name the Councillor involved but really do hope he has reported him. A person with those views should not remain in elected office."

Labour council group leaders spoken to by The National expressed horror at the quote. 

"I found that appaling. Whoever said that should take a right good look at themselves. It's not good enough. They should consider their position," said Renfrewshire Council's Eddie Devine.

A Labour spokesman said: “What Anas has revealed is completely unacceptable. Labour has a zero tolerance approach to any form of racism and bigotry. This reported behaviour falls well short of what we expect from any member or elected representative of the Labour Party.

“Labour is taking steps to ensure this issue can be thoroughly investigated, and as part of that the General Secretary is contacting Anas to identify the individual involved and take appropriate action.”

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard tweeted: "I’ve contacted Anas this morning to express my solidarity and support. I will do everything I can to kick racism out of our Party wherever it is found. I have also encouraged Anas to raise this as a formal complaint so that swift action can be taken. Zero tolerance for racism."