NICOLA Sturgeon accused Ross Thomson of making one of the "most pathetic" interventions ever – after the Tory MP claimed an anti-racism video was an "independence campaign by stealth".

The Aberdeen South MP wrote to the country's top civil servant accusing ministers of "flouting" the rules and "using taxpayers' money to produce what is a thinly-veiled party political broadcast".

The letter to Permanent Secretary Leslie Evans attacked the use of "Scottish slang and colloquialisms" in the new We Are Scotland clip, a one-minute long video aimed at beating divisions between the country's communities.

A poem read over images of people at work and play says: "Us 'v' them, them 'v' us, gadgies versus biddies, outies versus innies.

"I've had it with the 'v's, so please, please, please, gies, gies, gies peace".

According to Thomson: "It is clear that the video is being targeted at an audience who are familiar with the particular slang in Scotland rather than those who have English as a second language, and that the Scottish Government is running an independence campaign by stealth at the taxpayers' expense."

Further examples of "blatant politicisation of the civil service" were said to include Brexit-related graphics shared by the Scottish Government using "Scottish nationalist political language".

Thomson told Evans: "As Permanent Secretary I am asking you, to get a grip of the civil service."

The Scottish Government said Evans "has not yet received Mr Thomson’s letter", adding: "Once received, it will be considered and responded to in due course.”

However, multi-cultural organisation BEMIS said the clip "shows Scotland's diversity as a strength", adding that "in the current climate of increased racial prejudice and 'hostile environment' policies, efforts to showcase our communities and citizens as the assets they are should be welcomed across the political spectrum".

And Sturgeon said Thomson had made "one of the most pathetic political interventions ever", tweeting: "@scotgov produces a film to promote diversity and welcome those who choose to come here from other countries – and he gets all upset. Hope @RuthDavidsonMSP has the good grace to be embarrassed."

On its website, the Holyrood-led One Scotland campaign says: "Scotland's a great country – but it’s even greater when people come together. Our new campaign celebrates the positive impact of people who choose to make Scotland their home."

French citizen Sylvie Burnett said: "I think it's a wonderful video which reinforces my decision to remain in this country."

"Ex-Californian" Alice Heywood commented: "As someone not born in Scotland who chose to make it their home, it’s a welcome message to hear and I applaud @scotgov for making it."

And Aberdeen councillor Michael Hutchison said: "Suggesting migrants don't understand Scottish slang is as offensive as it is ridiculous.

"My old flatmate was still using Doric when I visited him in Pakistan last year.

"Incidentally, he might still be living here had the Tories not scrapped the Post-study Work Visa."