HUMZA Yousaf has challenged Anas Sarwar to finally settle a racism case which has remained unresolved for three years.

The Justice Secretary issued a plea to the Scottish Labour leader to speed up proceedings against councillor Jim Dempster, who admitted saying an Islamophobic slur about the SNP minister.

The Dumfries and Galloway representative reportedly said that if Yousaf had visited the region, "he may have been at Springholm but no-one would have seen him under his burka".

He was suspended by Labour in March 2018, with the UK head office dealing with complaints procedures.

Following Sarwar’s election as Scottish Labour leader, the Justice Secretary has issued a fresh appeal for the case to be resolved.

He told the Record: “It’s not good enough to just palm it off to Labour in London. Anas is the leader of Scottish Labour and I would expect him to take action.”

He continued: “I have stood with Anas on many a platform together in solidarity with the victims of hatred and pledging to do everything we can to rid our society of hatred.”

The National: Labour councillor Jim DempsterLabour councillor Jim Dempster

READ MORE: Humza Yousaf 'given up' on Islamophobia complaint to Labour Party

Yousaf added that Labour have not reached out to him during the investigation, despite repeated calls for action to be taken.

“My plea to Anas would be, now that he has been elected as leader, sort this out,” he said. “To not leave any victim of racism or Islamophobia, because I am not the only one, without justice.

“He is the leader of Scottish Labour, he should just be instructing London Labour that he will be taking over responsibility for this.”

Sarwar agreed that the response hasn’t been “good enough”.

“It has gone on for far too long and I’ve been very clear we need to have a much faster disciplinary process,” he replied.

“Delays like this are not only unfair on complainants, they are unfair on those complained against as well.”

The Scottish Labour chief added: “Humza knows how seriously I take this. We may represent different parties but we share a determination to tackle hatred and prejudice in Scotland.”