INTERIM Scottish Conservative leader Jackson Carlaw has apologised for a “crass” jibe about First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s looks.

The MSP was accused of insulting practically every woman in the country after he made a joke about the Sturgeon’s hair colour.

Carlaw – 60-years-old and still blonde – clashed with Sturgeon during a debate yesterday on the SNP’s Programme for Government.

The Tories accused the SNP leader of hypocrisy on climate change.

“What has the First Minister been doing this summer during the climate emergency that she declared?” Carlaw asked. “Well, she opened the new Edinburgh Airport terminal, and earlier this year she burned the equivalent of half a tonne of coal when she jet-setted to the United States to push independence.

“We are behind the First Minister on the need to tackle climate change, but — between book festivals — is she really going to give it a shot this time?”

Responding, Sturgeon said: “Jackson Carlaw has just criticised me for visiting Edinburgh Airport, but in his press release today he criticises us for not going ahead with the cut in air departure tax.

“Jackson Carlaw has got to decide which side of the climate change debate he is on.”

She added that it was “probably embarrassment” that made Carlaw’s face “go a little bit red when he looks at the actions and achievements of this government compared with the government of his party, which is so obsessed with Brexit that it has forgotten how to do anything else”.

Carlaw responded: “Not my skin tone again. Listen First Minister, at least I’ve got a full head of my own naturally coloured hair.”

WATCH: First Minister responds to Jackson Carlaw's sexist jibe

The remark stunned MSPs in the chamber. Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh was forced to call for order.

Sturgeon responded: “Let’s not gloss over the fact that within a matter days of losing their female leader, the interim leader has managed to insult practically every woman in the country with that I would say rather ill-advised quip at the start of his rather ill-advised rant.”

Mackintosh admonished the MSPs and urged “all members and all party leaders, including the First Minister, not to make personal quips”.

Green MSP Patrick Harvie said he hoped parliamentarians wouldn’t be “judged on the basis of having a full head of hair”.

Carlaw took to Twitter to apologise. He wrote: “That was crass. And fair play to @NicolaSturgeon for getting under my (very red west of Scotland) skin.”