A LEADING nationalist has apologised after telling a Labour MSP who was labelled a Muslim extremist, “You reap what you sow”.

Dave Thompson, who was an MSP in the Highlands from 2007 to 2011, backed down after attacking Glasgow list MSP Anas Sarwar yesterday.

Commenting on the abuse others had suffered in the wake of Donald Trump winning the US presidency, Mr Sarwar tweeted: “In 24hrs I’ve been called left wing zionist, radical Muslim extremist, right wing elitist & hater of Scotland. Yep only an American problem..”

In reply, Mr Thompson, who was convener of the Christians for Independence group in the 2014 referendum, told him: “You reap what you sow - didn't you say ScotParl was not democratic but happily took list seat - principles?!”

Another Twitter user said to Mr Thompson: “Very Christian of you.”

Scottish Labour swiftly called on Mr Thompson to apologise.

A spokesman said: “This is a disgraceful comment, especially coming from a former SNP MSP and the convener of Christians for Independence. Rather than stand against abuse and intolerance, this nationalist politician seems to want to stoke it.

“He may no longer be in the Scottish Parliament, but Dave Thompson is a high-profile public figure and the SNP should distance the party from his comments at the earliest opportunity.”

Mr Thompson, 67, who previously chaired Holyrood's standards committee, became a Nationalist hero in 2007 after challenging the election result in the Highlands.

A mistake by the returning officer gave Labour too many list MSPs, and so made Labour the largest party overall in Scotland.

Mr Thompson’s challenge led to a recalculation giving the SNP two more seats and Labour one less, making the SNP the largest party and Alex Salmond First Minister.

The SNP said: “Dave has clarified his earlier comment, and apologised directly to Anas.”