A POLITICAL cartoonist has been slammed for a “grotesque” image depicting a decapitated First Minister. 

The image, created by artist Dave Brown, shows a decapitated body playing the bagpipes while Nicola Sturgeon’s head can be seen at the side. 

It has been condemned by both Green MSP Maggie Chapman and SNP president Michael Russell. 

“The image is grotesque. It sums up so much of the grossly tasteless and utterly toxic nature of far too much of our political discourse”, said Chapman. 

“Like many women in politics, the First Minister has been attacked and vilified, often in brutal and misogynistic terms that would simply not be applied to men.

“And when politicians – particularly women – are regularly subjected to death threats and other threats of violence, such an image is in very poor taste and shows extremely bad judgement.”

This comes following Sturgeon’s announcement that she will step down as First Minister with the SNP confirming that nominations are now open to replace her as leader of the party.

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The image was published in The Independent, which referred to Sturgeon as the "Margaret Thatcher of Scotland". 

Meanwhile, Scottish charity Zero Tolerance, which works to end men’s violence against women said the image was “misogynistic”. 

The charity’s co-director Rachel Adamson said: “A picture’s meant to tell a thousand words, but this one just says misogyny. 

“This incident comes after harmful reporting in recent weeks from large parts of the British media against women and shows that we need urgent change in how the media recognises, understands and reports on violence against women and girls.”

SNP president Michael Russell described the image as “anti-Scottish” and echoed concerns that the image was harmful to women specifically. 

The National:

“I think it is in bad taste and betrays either crass ignorance of the difficulties – especially for women – in a polarised and often threatening political culture or it is deliberately violent and anti-Scottish.

“But insensitivity such as this from the press is unfortunately commonplace.”

The image was published in Thursday's edition of The Independent. The National approached the paper for comment.