A TORY MP has been called out for endorsing a controversial plan to root out alleged pro-independence bias in schools written by a colonialist supporter.

Andrew Bowie, MP for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine, wrote a foreword to the paper, published on Wednesday, titled “How ‘progressive’ anti-imperialism threatens the United Kingdom”.

The National can reveal one of the co-authors of the report, Professor Nigel Biggar, has a history of making controversial remarks in defence of the British Empire.

The SNP hit out at Bowie for backing the report written by an author with “extreme” views, and called for Douglas Ross to distance himself and the party from the paper.

Biggar, who is a regius professor of moral and pastoral theology at Oxford University, is currently running a five-year “Empire and Ethics” programme which is due to end on August 31, 2022.

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The project is run through the McDonald Centre for Theology, Ethics and Public Life, funded by the McDonald-Agape foundation, a Christian organisation. The premise of the project is to counter views that imperialism is “wicked and unethical”.

Biggar was previously on the advisory board of pro-Union think tank These Islands in 2017, but is now not listed on its website. In the same year, he was slammed for an article in which he argued that Britain needs to feel less guilty about its colonial past.

He wrote: “If we believe what strident anti-colonialists tell us – namely, that our imperial past was one long, unbroken litany of oppression, exploitation and self-deception – then our guilt will make us vulnerable to wilful manipulation, and it will confirm us in the belief that the best way we can serve the world is by leaving it well alone.”

Biggar’s article was in defence of a controversial piece written by American professor Bruce Gilley entitled “The Case for Colonialism”.

In response to Biggar’s remarks, 180 Oxford scholars signed a letter condemning his views and dubbing him a “colonial apologist”.

Earlier this year, Biggar was called out on Twitter for sharing a crowdfunder by A Force For Good, a Unionist group headed by former Ukip member and Holocaust denier Alistair McConnachie.

The National previously told how McConnachie was behind Independent Green Voice, a false-flag party presenting themselves on the ballot paper as environmentalists – despite not believing climate change is real.

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Biggar’s new paper, co-written with Professor Doug Stokes of the University of Exeter, advocates a social media drive to sell a “morally attractive” story about Britain to younger people and overcome negative associations with the British Empire.

The report states that many Scottish nationalists “equate Britain with empire, and empire with evil, seeing Scotland’s possible independence as part of the progressive arc of history”.

It also urges the UK Government to “provision an entity within civil society to conduct a review of the way in which history of Britain is actually taught in Scottish school classrooms, with a view to maintain political neutrality, exposing any undue Scottish nationalist bias”.

In the introduction to the paper from the Council on Geostrategy, Bowie said the policies could help a “Unionist fightback” against the threat of independence.

He said: “As such, pro-Union parties need to explore the underlying themes of Scottish separatism and seek to understand why the nationalist message appeals so much to large numbers of Scottish voters, particularly among younger age groups, and from there begin crafting a convincing and positive story for the British Union.”

The National: Rona Mackay

SNP MSP Rona Mackay (above) said: “This paper is so spectacularly ill-informed about the historical, political and democratic case for independence it is hard to know where to begin.

“But the fact that senior Scottish Tories are actively encouraging the suggestion that Boris Johnson should start meddling in Scotland’s schools by forcing teachers to deliver a Tory-led version of history almost beggars belief.

“Co-author Nigel Biggar’s extreme views on the British Empire and reported defence of calls for recolonisation are well documented. His work appears too controversial for Unionist group These Islands – but not it seems for the deputy chairman of the UK Tories Andrew Bowie.

“It is a sinister development, and Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross should disassociate himself and his party from this suggestion.”

The Scottish Tories and Professor Biggar were contacted for comment.