NICOLA Sturgeon has accused a Labour MSP of sexism after he publicly mocked the Scottish Equalities Minister.

The SNP leader intervened as Neil Findlay suggested Christine McKelvie had required help to write a tweet which referenced ancient history.

McKelvie – SNP MSP for Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse – hit out at Brexiteer Tory MP Bill Cash after he likened the Prime Minister to heroes from antiquity.

The prominent European Research Group member said during the Commons Brexit debate: “"Our Prime Minister, a great classicist, like his hero Pericles, is the first citizen of his country, and like him has saved our democracy.

"Like Alexander the Great, Boris has cut the Gordian Knot.

"Churchill and Margaret Thatcher would have been deeply proud of his achievements, and so are we."

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McKelvie, responding on Twitter, questioned the wisdom of the comparison.

The Equalities Minister wrote: “Oh dear Bill Cash comparing Boris to Pericles & Alexander. Pericles believed in democracy – for Scotland Boris doesn’t!

“Alexander was tutored by Aristotle & built through war an empire – Boris on the other hand will see an end to the last of the British empire! #Brexishambles”

That prompted a sneering response from Findlay.

He posted: “Hands up who believes Christina McKelvie dreamt up this tweet herself?”

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The remark was condemned as sexist.

McKelvie replied: “Hands up who believes Neil’s fragile tiny male ego is formed by his patriarchal attitude to women?”

The First Minister added: “Hands up who believes the world will be a better place when nasty sexism like this is finally a thing of the past.”

In response to the criticism, Findlay tweeted: "Is any comment on any political tweet from a woman politician now misogyny?"

Scottish Labour have been approached for comment.

The spat comes as Labour politicians again argue among themselves over the party's Brexit policy.

Scottish Labour vowed to reject Johnson's deal in a Holyrood vote, while Keir Starmer has publicly backed the deal.

Scottish Labour's sole MP, Ian Murray, has sided with Starmer over Leonard on the issue.