LABOUR is now a party which is considered to be “working against ethnic minorities”, according to Scotland’s Justice Secretary.

Humza Yousaf said at the SNP conference that Labour was traditionally viewed as a party which stood up for ethnic minorities but that this has changed as he raised questions over structural racism.

Yousaf highlighted the suspension of two Labour councillors for alleged racism and a row over the internal party selection process in areas of Glasgow. Councillors Davie McLachlan and Jim Dempster deny the allegations.

Yousaf said: “My point is you add all these things together and there is a question around, and I use purposely the term, structural racism.”

The Justice Secretary argued that “the world isn’t colourblind” and said that he faces racism on a daily basis. He added: “My point in all of this, is to question Labour, you used to be the party that stood up for minorities.

“You are now the party that is seen – rightly or wrongly so I just ask the question – to be working against ethnic minorities.”

However, the Scottish Police Federation General Secretary has warned Yousaf about sending a “dangerous” message on allegations after the MSP commented on the scandal surrounding US Supreme Court justice Brett Kavanaugh.

The justice denies assaulting Christine Blasey Ford at a high school party in 1982.

Speaking at a party conference fringe event Yousaf said: “She is saying it is sexual assault. You can allege whether it was Brett Kavanaugh or somebody else but she is telling you she has been sexually assaulted.

“You can argue around the veracity and the truth about who did it, who didn’t do it. My point is you can see from her testimony how harrowing it was.”

Scottish Police Federation General Secretary Calum Steele responded: “The reality is that is an alleged assault. It’s not, she was assaulted and it might have been Brett Kavanaugh.

“I have a deep concern around the general principle of the allegation being the basis on which the assumption should be made that a crime has been committed.”

Steele also questioned the need to make misogyny a hate crime, as is being consulted on by the Scottish Government, saying it could lead to people being called “speccy, fat or ginger” being considered hate crime aggravators.

Yousaf said people wearing glasses would be unlikely to believe there is a gap in the law regarding discrimination over their appearance. He said the question being asked in the consultation is if there is a gap in the law regarding misogyny.

Meanwhile, Scottish Finance Secretary Derek Mackay has been accused of recycling his flagship conference policy announcement.

Mackay revealed a £3.3 million scheme of financial health checks for older people and those on low incomes. However, the policy policy was mentioned by Nicola Sturgeon at the 2016 SNP conference and included in her recent programme for Government.