ANDREW Neil has provoked a backlash on social media after sharing a cartoon showing SNP first ministers being hanged.

In a cartoon for The Times by Peter Brookes, Alex Salmond, Nicola Sturgeon, and Humza Yousaf are shown hanging, with the SNP’s logo acting as the noose.

John Swinney, who is expected to be confirmed as the SNP’s new leader on Monday, is shown putting his head into a fourth noose and saying: “I’m the continuity candidate.”

Brookes shared the image and saw his cartoon labelled “distasteful” and “sick”.

Neil, the founding chairman of GB News, also shared the cartoon and approvingly called it “brilliant”.

The former BBC host has seen a fierce backlash to sharing the image, with SNP councillor Allan Casey writing: “What a disgusting image to share.

“Says a lot really about Andrew Neil that he finds an imagine [sic] depicting lynching or suicide ‘brilliant’. Utterly shameful.”

Christina Cannon, a second SNP councillor, said: “Genuinely so sick of politics the way it is.

“Any politician, any party, anyone from any job – this is disgusting.”

SNP MP Kirsten Oswald called for the cartoon to be retracted.

She wrote: “This is horrific. So far beneath the bottom of the barrel.

“Should never have been published. Needs taken down now.”

READ MORE: Andrew Neil forced to delete tweet after false Humza Yousaf claim

The Aberdeen Independence Movement said: “Disgusting and vile, but how many Unionist elected reps will call this out?”

And Alba general secretary Chris McEleny wrote: “Brilliant if you think suicide is funny. Crass nonsense.”

Mike Dailly, the creator of games such as Grand Theft Auto and Lemmings, wrote: “Can you imagine independence supporters, politicians, journalists did this for any Unionist politician?

“We'd get cries of hate speech, and reminded about the politicians who have lost their lives to violence.

“Yet, apparently it's okay for these far-right commentators to do it.”

Others called the cartoon “deplorable” and “utterly unacceptable”.

In February, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced that £31 million would be allocated to improving MPs’ security.

Home Secretary James Cleverly said at the time: “I take the safety and security of all members of the House with the utmost seriousness.

"None of us should have to accept that enduring hate crimes, harassment, or threats is part of the job.”

The Times has been approached for comment.