ANAS Sarwar has admitted receiving hundreds of thousands of pounds in unearned income from his controversial family business, following an investigation by the Herald.

The Scottish Labour leadership candidate confirmed he had received dividends of around £20,000 a year for 13 years as a shareholder in United Wholesale (Scotland) Ltd.

The SNP said it proved he was “one of the few not the many”.

On Wednesday, Mr Sarwar was asked directly on Radio Scotland if there was a dividend from his 23 per cent shareholding in the cash and carry giant.

The millionaire MSP replied: “I don’t take a dividend, no.”

However UWS company records revealed Mr Sarwar was entitled to dividend income of around £330,000 between 2003 and 2015, based on his shareholdings.

His wife Furheen, a dentist, was entitled to a further £196,000 based on her shares.

His campaign team now say Mr Sarwar stopped taking a dividend when he was elected an MSP last year - a period not yet covered by UWS accounts - but did take one before that.

Company records also appear to contradict Mr Sarwar’s repeated claim that he played no part in the running of UWS.

He said this month: “I play no active part in the running of the company - and never have.”

However in December 2010, he signed a company resolution creating a new class of share which benefited his wife and sister-in-law.

Mr Sarwar, 34, a Glasgow list MSP and former MP, is the centrist candidate for the Scottish Labour leadership, pitted against left-wing MSP Richard Leonard, a former GMB official.

He also faces criticism for sending his two young sons to £10,000-a-year Hutchesons’ Grammar rather than a state primary.

He has denied being one of the “few” in Labour’s slogan “for the many, not the few”.

SNP MSP Clare Haughey said: “The cat’s out of the bag - Anas Sarwar has finally admitted that he’s one of the few, not the many.

“He was adamant he doesn’t get money from the family firm, but now he’s trying to rewrite history.

“It’s the height of hypocrisy and deeply embarrassing.”

A spokesman for Mr Sarwar said: “Anas Sarwar does not take a dividend from UWS.

“He is a minority shareholder, he has no role in the running of the company and no desperate attempt by the SNP to smear him will deter him from fighting to remove this failing government from office.

“Unlike many SNP politicians such as the party’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford, Anas Sarwar does not have a second job.

"Nicola Sturgeon needs get her own house in order.”