THE leader of Scottish Labour has pledged to drive racism out of the party.

Richard Leonard used his platform at an anti-racism rally in Glasgow yesterday to make the call a day after a Labour councillor was suspended for making Islamophobic comments about the SNP's Humza Yousaf.

Organisers, Stand Up to Racism Scotland, claimed about 1,500 campaigners from a coalition of civic organisations, trade unions, political groups and others took to the streets to mark the UN's international anti-racism day.

At the rally in the city's George Square Leonard said: "We need to build unity between young and old, between black and white. In the fight to rid our society of racism, we cannot be moderate, we cannot be patient, we need to be impatient and angry in our pursuit of justice and equality. And that applies inside the Labour Party just as much as in wider society."

Leonard is under pressure to expel Dumfries and Galloway Labour councillor Jim Dempster, who admitted making Islamophobic remarks about the Scottish transport secretary Yousaf. In response to Leonard's speech, Yousaf repeated his call for Councillor Dempster's expulsion.

The demonstration was meant to unite those opposing the "rising tide of racism, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and the scapegoating of refugees and migrants". However it was boycotted by some pro-Palestinian supporters due to the planned presence of the Confederation of Friends of Israel in Scotland.

Pro-Palestinian and pro-Israeli demonstrators faced off during the march but police said there had been no arrests.