Mark MacLachan, the site’s author, also made veiled threats to Mr Russell about press exposure and asked him for help finding a job on a quango.

Mr MacLachlan, who was the MSP’s constituency manager in Dumfries, was unmasked last month as the architect of The Universality of Cheese, a pro-independence blog.

At the time, Mr Russell hit out at the “despicable anonymous commentary” and said he was unaware that his employee had been writing the blog.

However, in e-mails obtained by The Herald, Mr MacLachan alleges that Mr Russell knew about his blog.

A spokesperson for the MSP said: “Mr Russell is not the sort of person who responds to implied threats.”