A candidate for the Conservative Party has been suspended after he came under fire for making “heartless” comments about food bank users.
Craig Ross, who was a Conservative Party hopeful at this year’s Holyrood election, said people who used foodbanks were “far from starving” in an episode of his podcast.
Mr Ross, the candidate for Glasgow Pollok, said: “I’m not saying that every single person who claims to be really hungry and is reliant on charity is also very overweight, but what I am saying is if Channel 4 News is having a reasonable go at showing the reality of food bank usage, then we know that the people that they film are far from starving.
“If anything, their biggest risk is not starvation, it’s diabetes.”
SNP Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf called the comments “utterly heartless”.
He said: “His remarks that those who use foodbanks ‘are far from starving’ are utterly heartless.
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“To then go on to deny institutional racism in the context of the murder of Stephen Lawrence is deplorable.”
Ross had also made comments regarding the findings of a report into the Metropolitan Police into the murder of Stephen Lawrence.
The historical report had described the Metropolitan Police as “institutionally racist” in the wake of the murder of the teenager.
Mr Yousaf called the comments “utterly heartless” and “deplorable”
But speaking in his podcast, Mr Ross said: “I remember my pal, the Metropolitan police officer, and his mates, and their reaction to that.
“How nauseated they were, how utterly sickened they were, to be told that there was something called institutional racism and that they worked in the institution and therefore they by implication were racists.”
He added: “This is the least racist country in the world.”
Ross went on to describe the Human Rights Act as an “obscenity” and claimed the idea that the UK benefitted from migration was “false”.
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He said: “We’ve taken everybody who has been mistreated by Slovakia, and said, ‘Come here, and work a little, and we will make it such that you have in effect won the lottery’.”
Mr Yousaf added that he should be “thrown out the Party and Tories must confirm he is not going to be their candidate in Glasgow Pollok.”
Early Friday morning, the Scottish Conservative party announced that Mr Ross had been suspended and the matter was being investigated.
A spokesperson said: “We have suspended this candidate and an investigation is under way.
“These unacceptable comments do not reflect the views of the party.”