THE SNP has called for the Israeli embassy official at the centre of a diplomatic storm to be deported and the UK Government to launch an official inquiry.

Labour has also insisted Shai Masot, the senior political aide at the Israeli embassy in London, be withdrawn and that an official probe launched.

Mark Regev, Israel's ambassador to the UK, has apologised for the "unacceptable" comments made by Mr Masot, who discussed how to "take down" Sir Alan Duncan, the senior Foreign Office minister, because he was causing a "lot of problems".

Sir Alan has criticised the Israeli government over the expansion of Jewish settlements, saying it is a "stain on the face of the globe".

Mr Masot also appeared to dismiss Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, as "an idiot" during the conversation in a London restaurant which was secretly recorded by the Al Jazeera news channel.

This weekend, Whitehall civil servant Maria Strizzolo quit her post at the Skills Funding Agency after being filmed talking about Sir Alan over dinner with the Israeli official.

During the conversation at the Aubaine restaurant near the Israeli embassy in Kensington, west London, Mr Masot asked Ms Strizzolo: "Can I give you some names of MPs that I would suggest you take down?"

Ms Strizzolo replied that all MPs had "something they're trying to hide" and Mr Masot responded by saying "I have some MPs", adding "she knows which MPs I want to take down" before specifying "the deputy foreign minister".

The Israeli official also reportedly mocked "crazy" Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and his "weirdo" supporters.

A Foreign Office spokesman pointed out Mr Regev had apologised and made clear the comments did not reflect the views of the embassy or government of Israel.

"The UK has a strong relationship with Israel and we consider the matter closed," he added.

But Alex Salmond, the SNP’s international affairs spokesman, said: “It is completely unacceptable for the UK Government to declare the matter closed; Shai Masot must go and go immediately before the end of his tenure at the Israeli Embassy.”

The former First Minister went on: “Boris Johnson must right now revoke Mr Masot's diplomatic status and remove him from the country as would most certainly have happened had the circumstances been reversed. Perhaps then the Israeli Government representatives will regard the Foreign Secretary as less of a fool.

“I would expect the UK Government to fully investigate this matter so that we can be confident our elected officials are free to carry out their jobs to the best of their ability and without fear of having their reputation smeared by Embassy officials who do not agree with their views,” added Mr Salmond.

Emily Thornberry MP, the Shadow Foreign Secretary, described the reports of Mr Masot’s comments as “extremely disturbing”.

She said: “Improper interference in our democratic politics by other states is unacceptable whichever country is involved. It is simply not good enough for the Foreign Office to say the matter is closed. This is a national security issue.”

Ms Thornberry added: “The embassy official involved should be withdrawn and the Government should launch an immediate inquiry into the extent of this improper interference and demand from the Israeli Government that it be brought to an end."