SCOTTISH author Billy Kay has spoken out over the abuse he has received for speaking in Scots, saying the “hatred has been hard for my children”.

The writer and broadcaster received support for his historic Scots speech in Holyrood, becoming the first person to present the Time for Reflection address to MSPs in the language.

But his appearance led to a barrage of abuse from those who took issue with Scots being deemed a language.

Some users accused Kay of speaking a “made up” language, branding him an “embarrassment”, while others claimed Scots was “gibberish” and one senior Labour member commented: “Literally nobody in Scotland speaks like this. What a clown.”

Tweeting about the abuse, the Scots language campaigner said: “One week ago, I gave this Time for Reflection – a moment of immense pride for me and my family. The reaction was positive from people who actually watched it & extremely negative from North Britons who act like snarlin dugs when exposed to Scots.

READ MORE: Attacks on Billy Kay's Scots speech prove why it was so necessary

“The abuse was at low life level, like the lad who replied to my tweet in Scots, ‘In English, ya Tadger!’

“When you put your head above the parapet & promote confident national & international Scottishness, you get used to such vitriol. The hatred though was hard for my children.”

Kay vowed to continue speaking in and campaigning for Scots, saying his speech proved the language can be used in a formal setting.

He continued: “They, like me are confident multi-lingual Europeans who cannot conceive of people wanting to suppress and negate a language of such expressive power and with such a rich and brilliant literary history. So we will continue to sing it loud, we’re Scots and we’re proud.

“I showed that Scots can be used effectively in a formal setting. Please join me in doing the same on any occasion you can. Like every other minority language – tak tent or it’s tint – use it or we’ll lose it. Thank you for the support and the love.”

It comes after Kay was caught in a back and forth with Labour life peer George Foulkes, who replied to the Sunday National’s interview with the Scottish writer, claiming “there is no ‘Scots language’”.

Foulkes’ post prompted outrage, with several writers and academics saying his claim that Scots was a dialect and not a language was false.

READ MORE: Billy Kay hits back as Unionist trolls attack him for speaking Scots in Holyrood

The Labour politician said: “There is no 'Scots language'. Having been brought up in Keith speaking English in the Doric dialect & then Edinburgh & Ayrshire with two different dialects of English I can confirm they have similarities but also major differences but all with the same English grammar.”

Kay himself responded to the post, saying it was while Foulkes was part of the Tony Blair administration that the UK Government officially recognised Scots as a language.

He said: “George, comment on stuff you know something about. The UK Government signed up for the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages giving official recognition for Scots back in 2000. It was ratified by the Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair in 2001.”