A raft of Conservatives with “extreme views” has been elected to councils across Scotland with politicians railing against immigrants, gay people and poverty-stricken school pupils.

Some Tories posted offensive material on their social media accounts which led to accusations of xenophobia and bigotry.

And a number of newly elected councillors previously stood for right-wing anti-immigration UKIP before abandoning the sinking ship and joining the Conservatives.

Strathtay councillor Ian James described the term “African American” as a “stupid politically correct euphemism”. He also praised an anti-EU speech by former UKIP MEP Steven Woolfe as “powerful words indeed”.

During the Conservative leadership contest James asked: “Where are the political characters like Churchill, Nye Bevan and Enoch Powell or even Margaret Thatcher?”

Former Tory MP Powell called for curbs on immigration and the repatriation of non-white immigrants in his infamous 1968 ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech.

Ian James later apologised for his remarks.

Aberdeenshire councillor Ron McKail also issued an apology after sharing social media posts by far-right groups Britain First and the English Defence League.

He claimed he didn’t know the source of the pro-military messages and insisted he is “not that savvy with social media”.

Paisley councillor Neill Graham was forced to deny that he was previously a member of the British National Party after his contact details were found on a leaked BNP database.

The 26-year-old retail manager also insisted he would be able to represent Catholic voters, despite posting sharing posts from pro-Protestant groups on Facebook.

Newly elected Keith and Cullen Conservative councillor Donald Gatt – who previously stood for UKIP in the Scottish elections – said poor people whose children are entitled to free school meals should have bought condoms.

Speaking in April the Moray councillor said it was “my choice not to have children” and questioned the SNP’s policy of providing a free meal to every child in primary one, two and three. Gatt added: “If you can’t afford children, buy Durex.”

He was accused by opponents of promoting “extreme views” but refused to apologise, and later said he was responding to “the SNP claiming they were again providing something free of charge, when of course these policies have to be paid for by taxpayers.”

Tory councillor in Inverclyde, David Wilson, who stood in the Renfrewshire North and West constituency in the Scottish Parliament elections, asked gay people to out themselves during a public meeting.

Councillors were asked to support International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia on May 17 and make a £500 donation to an LGBT group.

Wilson described the cash as an “unnecessary request” and a decision to fly a flag in a show of support was “plenty”.

During the debate, Wilson insisted he was “not aware” of Inverclyde having a problem with homophobia and asked: “Is there anybody here from the LGBT group who are asking for funding?”

Last month the newly elected Dalry and West Kilbride Tory councillor Todd Ferguson was forced to apologise after saying SNP rival Joy Brahim, who is Dutch, supports Scottish independence because her husband is a Scot.

Ferguson also posted an image of WWII soldiers and made reference to Market Garden, a military operation in the Netherlands in which Dutch civilians died.

Brahim accused Ferguson of xenophobia and he later deleted the post and issued an apology.

And Fife teacher Kathleen Leslie won a seat in the Kingdom despite describing First Minister Nicola Sturgeon as a “drooling hag”, a “wee fish wife” and a “walking horror show”.

An SNP spokesman said: “People with these extreme views are now running schools and services on behalf of Tory party.”

The Tories also suspended a series of candidates before the poll on May 4.

Ken MacBrayne who was contesting Benbecula and North Uist, Glasgow Govan hopeful Roxana Iancu and Midlothian candidate George McIntyre were axed for anti-Muslim rants.

MacBrayne also posted threatening diatribes about First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

A Scottish Conservatives spokesman said: “Each Scottish Conservative councillor will be prioritising improving public services, and not a second independence referendum.

“That is what the majority of Scots want, and why so many Scottish Conservatives councillors were returned in the local government elections.”