AN economist has announced that he has stepped down from a Unionist think tank’s board after becoming “uncomfortable” with a member’s contributions to a right-wing magazine.

Tony Yates, who joined the These Islands advisory board in May 2022, said on social media that he had taken the decision to step away from the group.

Yates is not listed as a member of the think tank’s advisory council on its website.

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The economist wrote on Twitter/X that his reason for standing down was a fellow board member, who he did not name, making regular contributions to The Spectator.

On Wednesday, he said: “I've withdrawn from @These_Islands Advisory Council.

“I stepped down as I was uncomfortable with a fellow Council member regularly writing for The Spectator.

“The Spectator has become a vehicle for overt racism, covid denial and fascist-adjacent poplism.

“It's occupied that position for a long time, but Douglas Murray's comments about Humza Yousaf having 'infiltrated' crystallised my feelings about this.”

Contributing editor of These Islands John Ferry is a regular writer in the right-wing magazine, with his latest article from November 18 titled “The SNP’s independence dream is on life support”.

However, a number of These Islands board members are irregular contributors to The Spectator, including former Labour MP Brian Wilson, ex-broadcaster Trevor Phillips, as well as founding members historian Tom Holland and chairman Kevin Hague.

We told how far-right author Murray, and associate editor of The Spectator, was called out for a “disgusting” attack on the First Minister whom he accused of having “infiltrated” the country's political system.

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Former professor of economics Yates, when he joined the advisory board last year, said:"These Islands have been forensic and relentless in commenting on the economics of Scottish independence: on public finances, monetary policy, and trade.

“I'm delighted to join their Advisory Board and looking forward to being a part of this effort as the debate about the future of the Union evolves."

Labour peer Baroness Joyce Quin and Chris Murray, an immigration expert and now Labour General Election candidate for Edinburgh East and Mussellburgh, joined at the same time as Yates.

These Islands has been contacted for comment.