A SCOTTISH philanthropist is facing criticism after he labelled the Scottish Greens policies as “insanity” and warned that they were to the “detriment of Scotland”.

Sir Tom Hunter – who is estimated to be worth around £700 million – criticised the Scottish Greens for pushing “dogma”.

In an interview with The Scotsman, Hunter said: “A lot of the business people I speak to say the incompetence of bringing the DRS and wasting multi-millions while businesses struggle and the money could have been put to much better use… (that) there doesn’t seem to be much accountability, I suppose the ultimate accountability is at the ballot box.

“But the Greens are coming out with this dogma and it is to the detriment of Scotland. They obviously believe in it.

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“But any sane person can see that, of course, we all believe in net zero, but if you cut off oil from the North Sea today, we still need to buy hydrocarbons so we buy it from another country and make them rich and lay off a bunch of Scottish workers. It’s just insanity.”

A number of Greens hit back at Hunter’s comments on social media with Councillor Blair Anderson tweeting: “Define insanity” followed by a number of pictures of wildfires.

MSP Mark Ruskell (below) meanwhile said he was “more interested” in what the secretary-general of the UN António Guterres had to say.

This was followed by an image of one of Guterres's tweets which said: “Climate activists are sometimes depicted as dangerous radicals.

“But the truly dangerous radicals are the countries that are increasing the production of fossil fuels.

The National: Green MSP Mark Ruskell at Holyrood

“Investing in new fossil fuels infrastructure is moral and economic madness.”

Hunter is known for establishing Sports Division – previously one of the biggest sports retailers in the UK.

In response to his comments, a spokesperson for the Scottish Greens told The Scotsman: “Nobody is talking about ending all drilling tomorrow, but surely Sir Tom can agree that it would be utterly reckless to sell off even more of our North Sea and allow even more fossil fuel exploration.

“Words alone are not enough if we are to hit our climate targets. It will take action. With Scottish Greens in government, we are delivering real and effective climate action, with a ban on new incinerators, record investment in walking, wheeling and cycling infrastructure, free bus travel for young people and investment in a just transition to renewable energy.

“These are the positive changes that will make a real difference to our environment. That is why more people than ever are supporting the Scottish Greens.”

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Fergus Ewing (above) previously called for SNP members to have a fresh vote on whether to continue working with the Scottish Greens.

Writing for The National earlier this week, Scottish Greens co-leaderLorna Slater wrote that the Bute House Agreement is an example of how “grown-up politics is meant to work”.