A FORMER editor of The Sun has been blasted on social media for branding Scotland “Jockestan” and the First Minister a “nauseating dwarf”.

Kelvin MacKenzie, who was also a columnist for The Sun until 2017 when he was let go for comparing a young mixed-race footballer to “a gorilla in the zoo”, also suggested that the SNP were the “Snidey Nasty Party”.

The Englishman, from Kent, seemingly took issue with Nicola Sturgeon’s reported unhappiness at a royal visit coming in the midst of a pandemic and a ban on all but essential travel.

Prince William and his wife Kate today came to Scotland to “thank frontline staff” for their efforts in the fight against Covid.

Sturgeon said at today’s coronavirus briefing that the Scottish Government “was advised about the intention to visit, and we made sure that the royal household were aware, as you would expect, of all of the restrictions in place in Scotland, so that could inform both the decision and the planning of the visit.

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"But I think any questions about that should be directed to the royal household."

In response, the former Sun editor wrote: “That nauseating dwarf Nicola Sturgeon tried to warn off William and Kate from Jockestan claiming they broke Covid travel rules.

“The royal couple took no notice and met grateful Scottish Ambulance workers as planned. SNP. The Snidey Nasty Party.”

Social media users took issue with MacKenzie’s comments. One said: “Snidey Nasty Party, what are you? 12?” while others shared gifs of Scots actor Brian Cox and Gordon Ramsey telling the Englishman to “F*ck off”.

Another Twitter user wrote: “So much of this tweet is offensive. Still, it certainly helps the indy cause so I suppose [Kelvin MacKenzie] still has some purpose.”

Others took calmer tones, saying: “You might like to look at the wording in your tweet and think again about who’s being snidey and nasty” or suggesting that the royals had in fact been in the wrong.

One user said: “Actually, they should be setting an example not breaking the rules we are being asked to adhere to!” while another added: “Love Kate and William but I feel this trip at this time is inappropriate.

“We are in a pandemic and need to be aware of safeguarding.”

MacKenzie has previously been embroiled in controversy after attacking Scotland and its people, who he called “tartan tosspots”.

Referring to the lower life expectancy north of the Border, said: “The good news is that [the Scots] are dying sooner than the rest of us."

Speaking in his own defence, MacKenzie said: "If a columnist in the Sunday Herald described the English as tosspots, nobody would give a damn. Scots are extremely sensitive about the position they find themselves in, which is having to take money from London.”

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MacKenzie describes himself as the “most successful Editor of The Sun” in his Twitter profile. He left that position after 13 years in 1994, following more than a decade of controversy around stories he published which were entirely fabricated.

These included claims that Sting had admitted to taking drugs (he had not), claims Elton John had had sex with rent boys (he had not), an interview with war veteran Simon Weston which was completely fake, and claims Freddie Starr had eaten a hamster (he had not).

Perhaps MacKenzie’s most damaging claims came around the time of the Hillsborough disaster, which saw 96 fans of Liverpool football club crushed at the stadium in Sheffield.

The then-editor’s front page, which included claims that Liverpool fans had picked pockets of the dead and urinated on police, led to a boycott of the newspaper in the Merseyside city which still endures today.