A LABOUR councillor has been criticised for attacking a journalist as not a “real Scot” after he wrote a sympathetic article about the SNP .

Alex Gallagher apologised for the comment he made about former Herald columnist Chris Deerin who penned a positive analysis piece in a London-based magazine.

Deerin, who is also director of the think tank Reform Scotland in Edinburgh, described the SNP pro-immigration and pro-Europe, and contrasted that favourably with the Tories and its Brexiteers such as Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg. Deerin was also critical of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s Euro-scepticism.

“You don’t have to want Scottish independence to appreciate today’s SNP as an emblem of decency, progressiveness and social conscience,” he concluded in his article in the New Statesman. “Scottish nationalism has grown up and it has grown up well.”

But North Ayrshire councillor Gallagher took umbrage at Deerin’s take on the political parties. He posted on Twitter. “As a 50 year reader and subscriber to the NS, this is total and utter bollocks.”

“They must get a real Scot, preferably left or centre left, Deerin speaks for Charlotte Square, not Scotland,” he tweeted, referring to the upmarket Edinburgh square.

Gallagher then said: “Apologies That was crass. I should have said someone vaguely left who reflects real opinion in Scotland.

“I can only plead blinded by anger at the stupidity of your article and the fact it is published in my favourite supposedly “left” magazine. I would hope they wld know better.” After Gallagher’s remark was attacked as “appalling” by other social media users, Deerin responded: “I used to get this c*** from Yessers. It’s nearly always from embittered Labour people these days. Interesting.”

Gallagher tweeted: “I was wrong to use such language. I have apologised Chris. You could acknowledge that.”

A Labour spokesman said: “This was a crass comment that Alex Gallagher rightly apologised for.”