THE deputy leader of a new Unionist party has been criticised for “hysterical and bilious nonsense” after accusing the SNP of having a paramilitary-style wing intended to stir up online abuse and civil unrest.

Jamie Blackett, of the Alliance for Unity movement set up by George Galloway, said the SNP had copied the tactics of Sinn Fein in having a “political wing led by Nicola Sturgeon, and another wing”.

In an interview published yesterday, he claimed this “other wing” of the party was encouraging online abuse against women.

He also claimed it was encouraging the actions of “blue faces” who stir up “civil unrest” and “intimidate the population” with independence rallies.

Blackett referred to brown shirts in his remarks – a term used to described the violent paramilitary wing attached to the Nazi Party in pre-Second World War Germany.

He has previously described the SNP as having a “paramilitary wing” in a tweet highlighting abusive online comments.

Last night, leading Scottish historian Professor Sir Tom Devine said: “I am not a member of the SNP or of any political party but on the face of it the comment seems uttered without a shred of supporting evidence.

“Cybernats are one thing, officially sanctioned cybernats are quite another.

“Indeed the comparison with the paramilitary wing of Sinn Fein and elements in the SNP might well be actionable at law.

“But a ludicrous rant of this kind is best ignored and treated with contempt.

“If it represents the views of Alliance for Unity, the new party will soon be consigned to an early and ignominious grave in the eyes of the electorate.”

In the Times interview, Blackett – described as a “gentleman farmer” and an old Etonian whose schoolmates included Prime Minister Boris Johnson – said his experience in the army, including two tours of duty in Northern Ireland, led him to draw comparisons with the SNP and Sinn Fein.

“It’s blindingly obvious that we have a ruling party in Scotland that not only has very close links to Sinn Fein – they have been open about that – but also they have copied their tactics, in having a political wing, led by Nicola Sturgeon, and another wing,” he said.

“That other wing encourages cybernats to bully women online, and threaten them, and encourage the people who do the stunts to close the border, the blue faces – I nearly called them brown shirts – who stir up civil unrest and intimidate the population with the rallies they hold.

“For people who have never been outside Scotland, who perhaps don’t have much sense of history, maybe they don’t know notice what’s going on. I am horrified by this dual approach.”

He also described First Minister Nicola Sturgeon as being a “dangerous demagogue” and when asked which historical figure he most identified with, he named Sir Hugh Dowding, head of fighter command in the Battle of Britain, as “without whom the SNP would have been ruling Scotland since 1940 in collaboration with the Nazis”.

BLACKETT claimed pro-Union parties would win at the Holyrood elections next year and he was not contemplating the prospect of indyref2 – but then also said Alliance for Unity was poised to be the new “Better Together” campaign.

“If Nicola Sturgeon does win a majority, it may not be tenable to avoid a referendum,” he added.

Last night the SNP declined to make any comment on Blackett’s remarks.

However, Scotland’s Constitution Secretary and Argyll and Bute SNP MSP Michael Russell criticised his comments, which came the day after Borders Tory MSP Rachael Hamilton sparked a backlash by saying Scotland is “overrun by SNP bigots and separatists”.

He tweeted: “Yesterday a Tory MSP calls the SNP bigots. Today a self-confessed Tory who is now self-appointed deputy leader of some ‘Alliance for Unity’ makes direct comparisons between SNP leaders and Nazis.

“I understand panic but I don’t think Scotland will appreciate poison …”

Former Labour MP Galloway launched Alliance for Unity last month in a bid to oust the SNP.

Last week it was reported that Cabinet Minister Michael Gove had been in talks with him about defending the Union, as well as other Unionist politicians.

These are said to also include former First Minister Lord McConnell and former LibDem chief secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander.

Gove responded to a tweet last week from Galloway saying his suggestion of giving a vote to Scots who live elsewhere in the UK in indyref2 was an “interesting question”.

SNP depute leader Keith Brown said his endorsement was a sign of “rising panic” in Downing Street.

However, it has also been reported that Galloway has failed in his attempts to form pacts with the main Unionist parties in Scotland.

The Scottish Conservatives, Labour and LibDems were said to have all rejected an approach.