LABOUR leadership hopeful Emily Thornberry has apologised for saying she “hates” the SNP.

The Shadow Foreign Secretary also referred to the party as “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 at the meeting in Nottingham, 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.”

Her comments provoked fury with both Labour and SNP figures – including Nicola Sturgeon – saying opponents should not hate one another.

Thornberry said sorry in the House of Commons yesterday.

READ MORE: Sturgeon responds to Emily Thornberry's 'I hate the SNP' rant

Before asking an urgent question 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. Pete Wishart tweeted: “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.”

Stewart McDonald tweeted: “An apology I heartily accepted and have even invited Emily Thornberry to be my plus one at tomorrow night’s London SNP Burns Supper, which she has even threatened to accept.”