A UKRAINIAN politician who once founded an ultra-nationalist party styled on Hitler's Nazis was applauded by unwitting MSPs in the Scottish Parliament.

Andriy Parubiy, who has been chairman of the Ukrainian parliament since 2016, was warmly welcomed to Holyrood as he watched First Minister’s Question from the guests’ gallery.

But Scottish Labour’s Neil Findlay later demanded to know why MSPs were being invited to welcome a “racist, fascist Nazi” without their knowledge – and called for a review of vetting procedures.

Raising the issue with Presiding Officer Ken MacIntosh, he said: “Members do not know who they are being asked to acknowledge in this parliament.”

He later added: “Andriy Parubiy clearly holds despicable political views and it is unacceptable that MSPs were urged to applaud his presence in the Scottish Parliament.

“We need an urgent review of how and why Mr Parubiy was invited to the Scottish Parliament, and by whom. We must quickly establish a mechanism to ensure this never happens again in the future.”

Mr Parubiy co-founded the Social-National Party of Ukraine (SNPU) in 1991, which used the Nazi-linked Wolfsangel symbol as its logo and only accepted ethnic Ukrainians as members.

He later became a founding member of the right-wing nationalist People's Front and is the former secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine.

Mr Parubiy's political opinions have shifted further to the centre in recent years.

He is currently a member of the ruling coalition and supports Jewish Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman.

A Scottish Parliament spokesman said: “The Presiding Officer’s role is to welcome speakers, heads of government, elected parliamentarians and ambassadors on the Parliament’s behalf. Members are informed in advance of the visits of speakers representing other legislatures.”

Mr Parubiy, who is on a tour of France and the UK, was also welcomed in Westminster this week.

Prime Minister Theresa May said she was “very happy to reaffirm the United Kingdom’s commitment to and support for Ukraine”.