THE SNP’S BAME convener has said he understands why more than a third of all black people believe his party is institutionally racist.

Graham Campbell’s comments came after a poll carried out for CNN suggested that the UK’s political parties had much to do win over black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.

It suggested that 34% of all black people thought the SNP were institutionally racist, lower than the 58% who believed the same was true of the Tories, but more than the 31% who believed Labour and the LibDems had a race problem.

Campbell, a councillor in Glasgow, said he hoped Scotland’s BAME communities would see the SNP as an actively anti-racist party.

He said: “As the SNP’s first-ever BAME convener elected by conference I can attest to the party’s sterling efforts to increase the levels of representation from BAME communities from the present seven councillors and one MSP.

“All Scottish institutions – given our history as a nation involved slavery and colonialism – necessarily will have questions to answer about the impact of institutionalised racism.

“With the caveat that I’d be surprised if that polling represented the views of 34% of Scots BAME people, I do understand the concerns being raised.

“I hope Scotland’s BAME communities will see from the leadership shown by our party and by our First Minister on issues of tackling racism – and by my own involvement in the party’s NEC – that we are an actively anti-racist party.

“By seeking to challenge discrimination wherever we find it – including if it arises within our party – we set an example that Scotland is a country that will not tolerate racism or bigotry.”

There was anger last year when the SNP unveiled an entirely white roster of candidates for the general election. They were the only major party in Scotland not have at least one candidate from a BAME background.

Writing in The National at the time, Humza Yousaf said it was “not good enough”.

He called for “a forensic examination of our processes as a party to ensure there are no structural barriers in the way for black, Asian and minority ethnic people, particularly women, who want to participate in the frontline of our politics.”