NICOLA Sturgeon has pledged to “root out and condemn toxic, racist political discourse” from the SNP following the suspension of economist Dr Tim Rideout from the party.

The Lothians member of the SNP policy development committee was suspended on Wednesday following accusations of racism against Home Secretary Priti Patel.

During First Minister’s Questions, Conservative MSP Pam Gosal said racism is never an isolated incident, and urged the FM to assure Scotland’s Bame communities she will root it out of the party.

Gosal said: “Tim Rideout, a senior SNP advisor, made appalling racist comments about the Home Secretary.

READ MORE: Economist Dr Tim Rideout suspended from SNP following Priti Patel comments

“Such comments have no place in society, let alone in political debate. I welcome that the SNP has taken quick action in suspending and launching an investigation into M Rideout's conduct.

“But racism is never an isolated incident. And this is something all parties must condemn. So will the First Minister assure Bame communities and Scotland and the broader public that her party will continue to root out and condemn toxic, racist political discourse.”

Sturgeon replied: “Yes, I will. The individual concerned, as Pam Gosal has fairly pointed out, was immediately suspended from the SNP. It would be wrong for me to comment any further.”

Sturgeon said she represents “the most diverse constituency in the whole of Scotland” adding that she “understands these issues”.

“I understand how serious it is that all parties take these issues very seriously,” she said. “And I am absolutely committed to doing so I think this is an issue for all parties.

The National: Scottish Conservative shadow minister for higher and further education Pam Gosal this week urged the Scottish Government to  "send out the clearest possible message that sharing [this sort of] pro-Putin propaganda is completely unacceptable in our

Pam Gosal urged the First Minister to root out racist rhetoric in the party

“We all have to be prepared to act when necessary in a way that aligns with what we see around these things. And I for my part, probably speaking mood as leader of the SNP presiding officer, he then is First Minister, I am determined that my party does so and I would call and other parties to meet through the always follow suit as well.

"And that I think is something hopefully we can unite on.”

The SNP launched an investigation into Dr Rideout after his reply to a Twitter post about the Home Secretary drew widespread condemnation.

The post read: “Taoiseach Micheal Martin has confirmed that Priti Patel complained to the Irish government that Ireland’s welcoming policy towards Ukrainian refugees would allow them to reach the UK by the back door."

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Rideout replied: "So how do we send this person back to Uganda? Clearly hasn't a shred of humanity. Mind you, maybe the new proposed refugee centre on St Helena might avoid inflicting her on anyone. Can compare notes with Napoleon's ghost."

Labour’s Ian Murray MP said the comments were “truly horrendous and outright racist”.

An SNP spokesperson previously said the tweet was “offensive and disgusting” while announcing an investigation into the matter.

The National has approached Dr Rideout for comment.