NO more public funds should be given to arms firms, Green MSP Ross Greer says – in case Brazil’s new leader uses Scots-made weapons against the people.

Greer, international relations spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, has issued a strongly-worded letter to the First Minister urging her to cut all support for companies supplying the government of Jair Bolsonaro.

The far-right politician pledged to create a society “without discrimination or division” in his inaugural speech on Tuesday.

But the 63-year-old, who was elected on an anti-crime and corruption ticket, is himself a divisive figure as a result of comments backing the use of torture, criticising black people, “joking” about raping a woman and claiming he would rather any son of his was dead than gay.

In his letter to Nicola Sturgeon – which continues Green party pressure to end taxpayers’ support for companies involved in arms production – Greer says one firm targeting the Brazilian market, North Ayrshire’s Chemring Energetics, has received funding worth £196,355 from development agency Scottish Enterprise in the past 10 years.

The company, based in Stevenston, supplies detonators, high explosive charges, demolition stores and more.

Citing Bolsonaro’s comments in favour of Brazil’s former military dictatorship – which killed and disappeared dissidents – and the use of Chemring tear gas against protesters in Hong Kong and Egypt, Greer said new guidance on human rights checks for companies in line for public funds may not go far enough, stating: “Scottish Government financial support to arms companies cannot be disentangled from the abuses carried out using these companies’ products.”

Chemring, based in Hampshire, said it was acting in accordance with UK law and would review its policies after the use of its products against unarmed pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong emerged in 2011.

Yesterday the Scottish Government said it “does not provide funding for the manufacture of munitions– either directly or via Scottish Enterprise”, and that licences for arms sales – a reserved matter – are provided by Westminster.

A spokesperson said: “Our enterprise agencies support businesses across Scotland, including those operating in the aerospace and defence industries, in areas such as innovation, workplace efficiencies and training, involving projects which show significant economic return, particularly in the safeguarding and creation of new jobs.”

However, Greer claims it is “extremely likely” that Bolsonaro “will use his military and police force against his own people and it would be sickening to know that Scottish taxpayers money has helped him do that”.

He added: “Scottish Government financial support to arms companies cannot be disentangled from the abuses carried out using these companies’ products.

“Any link between Scottish public funds and weapons firms that target Brazil must be stopped.”