NICOLA Sturgeon has been urged to suspend a leading SNP councillor who defended a pro-independence blog accused of anti-Semitism.

Labour said the First Minister should take immediate action against Frank Anderson, the leader of the SNP opposition group on West Lothian Council.

It followed Mr Anderson writing a defence of a controversial blog on the Grouse Beater website about GMB Scotland organiser Rhea Wolfson.

READ MORE: Sturgeon urged to probe SNP links to 'anti-Semitic' blogpost

The blog, entitled ‘GMB - a cockney clique’, cited Mein Kampf to claim Ms Wolfson, who is Jewish, was making the most of Hitler’s fascist ideology.

The blog was promoted by Mr Anderson and the Livingston East branch, but SNP HQ later said it should not have been shared and the author owed Ms Wolfson an apology.

The SNP suspended the blog's author, Edinburgh-based Gareth Wardell, on Tuesday.

READ MORE: SNP suspends member over 'anti-Semitic' blog

He is now the subject of a complaint to the party's disciplinary committee.

But Cllr Anderson, who was recently presented with an award for service to the SNP by deputy First Minister John Swinney, told the National newspaper: “I don’t accept that it was an anti-Semitic article, nor was I aware of any of Miss Wolfson’s Jewish heritage.”

“The article was, in context, about the self-serving attitude of Labour.”

He has since apologised "unreservedly", but the GMB said he should be sacked from his elected position and suspended by the SNP.

Ms Wolfson is Labour’s Westminster candidate in Livingston.

Lothians Labour MSP Neil Findlay said: “Nicola Sturgeon must take action and suspend this councillor immediately. To defend this anti-Semitic attack on a trade union organiser is simply beyond the pale.

“The SNP must ensure there is a thorough investigation into every case of this blog being promoted through the party’s social media channels.

“Any attempt to brush this off would be simply unacceptable.”

The Grouse Beater blog was about the recent equal pay strike at SNP-run Glasgow City Council, in which Ms Wolfson and the GMB were advocates of the 48-hour walkout.

The article said: “In Part 1 of Mein Kampf Hitler attacks unions over and over again. Unions are fascism’s Public Enemy Number 1. He went further.

“He accused ‘The Jew’ of gradually assuming leadership of the trade union movement. Hitler wanted a blindly obedient fighting force loyal only to the national leader of government.

“Whether or not Wolfson is intellectually aware of Hitler’s outlook is unknown but she certainly knows how to make the most of it...”

READ MORE: Blogger in SNP 'anti-Semitism' row defends himself

Mr Findlay has already urged Ms Sturgeon to investigate any SNP links to the blog.

In a statement, Cllr Anderson said: "I’ve now had the opportunity to properly understand the offence caused to Rhea Wolfson by this blog.

"I was unaware of her Jewish heritage and therefore did not appreciate how hurtful the words would be.

"I unreservedly apologise to her for my embarrassing lack of understanding of these issues and my part in the offence that she has suffered." 

GMB Scotland Secretary Gary Smith said: "The SNP’s suspension of Mr Wardell was the only logical course of action to take. GMB will also be contacting Police Scotland to establish what further action can be taken.

"However, the apology from Councillor Anderson is insufficient in light of the earlier defence of his comments.

"We believe this is contrived and insincere. He should be sacked from his elected position and his political membership should be suspended.

"As we said earlier, no political party has clean hands on the issue of anti-semitism but nobody should need any reminders that anti-semitism is on the rise and we in GMB are clear that it is absolutely intolerable.

"The Councillor’s position is untenable and if he cannot do the right thing himself then the SNP must take that decision for him."