LABOUR leadership hopeful Emily Thornberry has today apologised for saying she "hates" the SNP.

The Shadow Foreign Secretary claimed she "hates" the SNP and called the party "Tories wrapped up in nationalist clothing".

She was severely criticised including by senior Scottish Labour figures for making the remark at a Labour leadership hustings last weekend.

Responding to a question on the SNP’s record in government, she said: "I hate the SNP. I think they're Tories wrapped up in nationalist clothing. I think they pretend to be on the Left."

But she has now apologised.

Before asking an urgent question in the Commons on the USA’s proposed Middle East peace plan, she said: "Could I take a brief moment to apologise to my colleagues on the SNP benches for the language I used in the heat of hustings last week.

"When we are debating the Middle East it is a salutary reminder to me both in that there is no place for hate in our politics and also that on almost every foreign policy issue, including this one, we have opposed the Tory government together, and I’m sorry for what I’ve said."

SNP MPs praised the move, with Pete Wishart tweeting: "A full apology from Emily Thornberry for her 'I hate the SNP' comment. Just made in the chamber. Good to see senior MPs put their hands up when they get the tone so badly wrong.”