SCOTTISH Labour’s elected representatives will be required to attend diversity training amid a toxic anti-semitism crisis that is threatening to engulf the party.

MSPs, MPs, candidates and senior party figures will have to go on the equalities course after a backlash over how Labour has handled a series of racism scandals.

The development comes as Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard, in his party conference speech in Dundee, promised to “root” out anti-Jewish sentiment.

UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership continues to be dogged by claims he and his supporters have been soft on anti-Jewish prejudice.

His party has also faced claims it has failed to deal properly with hundreds of complaints of anti-semitism against members and presided over huge delays in cases.

The party hit rock bottom last week after the Equality and Human Rights Commission opened a probe after saying Labour may have “unlawfully discriminated against people because of their ethnicity and religious beliefs”.

The crisis is also relevant to Scottish Labour, as several party councillors have been investigated over claims of anti-semitism.

In one case, Renfrewshire councillor Jim Sheridan was suspended after saying he “no longer” had the utmost respect and sympathy for the Jewish community and their suffering. He was later readmitted.

However, Scottish Labour’s problems with racism are wider than antisemitism, as there have been well-publicised allegations of Islamophobia levelled against senior party figures.

Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill MP Hugh Gaffney apologised last year over a Burns Supper speech in which he used bigoted language to describe Chinese and gay people.

In an email to members of Scottish Labour’s governing executive, party general secretary Brian Roy wrote:

“There is absolutely no place for anti-Semitism or any other form of racism or discrimination in the Scottish Labour Party.

“And as such, we must take every necessary measure to drive anti-Semitism out of our party completely, to rebuild trust with the Jewish Communities in Scotland, as a matter of urgency.

“The Scottish Executive Committee will ensure, as part of this work, that all Scottish Labour elected representatives, candidates and members of the SEC participate in equality and diversity training.”

It is understood the diversity training initiative came from an internal Scottish Labour sub-group that looked at the wider issue of diversity.

Leonard addressed the anti-semitism row in his speech at Dundee yesterday:

“We need to win back the trust of Scotland’s Jewish communities, who feel badly let down. It sickens me that there is any anti-semitism at all in our Party and in our movement. That is not who we are and it is not what we are about.”

He added: “We are not simply a non-racist party. We are an anti-racist party. Antisemitism does not represent Labour values.

“There is no place in our Party for prejudice, bigotry, hatred and racism. And that’s why I say to you this afternoon unequivocally we will root it out.”

However, a party source said condemning anti-semitism was the “minimum” Leonard could do, adding that he said little on how it would be tackled, or on expulsions.

In an interview with the Herald on Sunday last week, the leader of one of biggest trade unions in Scotland attacked Leonard’s handling of the anti-semitism crisis.

Gary Smith of GMB Scotland said: “I don’t think the party has been strong enough, or quick enough, and I think what’s happened is absolutely disgusting. Disgraceful."

Asked whether Scottish Labour had been weak on anti-semitism, he said: “Yes ... I don’t know what we’ve said that is distinct in Scotland.”

Meanwhile, outlining his flagship conference policy pledge, Leonard yesterday said that a future Labour government in Scotland would introduce free bus travel for all.

And to help "jumpstart" struggling bus services - which have been hit by falling passenger numbers - he called on the Scottish Government to extend free bus passes to those aged under 25.

Leonard said: "If the SNP don't do it, we will do it on day one of an incoming Scottish Labour government."

But he added: "Then we will go further. We will build a proper bus network that connects Scotland's communities.

"Labour will build a free bus network to serve the whole of Scotland."

Leonard announced the new policy as he urged party members to stay true to Labour's socialist roots.

With UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn looking on, he described himself as being "proud to be on the left of politics".

Labour has "not come through the adverse electoral storms of the last decade to simply sit back and give up before nationalism," he said.

He went on to tell activists the party should "stand by our socialist ideals", as it had a "vision of the future worth striving for".

He insisted: "People are turning to us again to fight their corner. And under my leadership, fight it we will."

However, his speech came at a time when Labour across the UK has come under fire for its stance on Brexit.

With several English MPs having quit UK Labour to form The Independent Group, Mr Leonard said this was "a cause for regret".

He criticised the UK Government for the "calamity" of its approach to Brexit negotiations, as he insisted Labour had been "trying to steer a course through this mess".

And he stated: "If we cannot force Theresa May to change course and accept our credible alternative, let me be absolutely clear, Labour will back a public vote."

Leonard was clear that "Brexit is not the only challenge we face" as he pledged the next Labour government at Holyrood would "build a more cohesive society by ending austerity".