A LEADING member of prominent hardline Scottish independence group Scottish Resistance has been banned over a “racist” banner displayed by protesters outside the SNP conference hall in Edinburgh.

The banner, which said “England get out of Scotland”, was being held by controversial, independence supporter, Sean Clerkin at the weekend.

James Scott, founder of the Scottish Resistance, said a meeting of the group had agreed the banner was “not acceptable” and should instead have read: “Westminster out of Scotland”.

Now Mr Scott said that Mr Clerkin, who denies claims that the banner is racist, has been banned from the Scottish Resistance movement.

Mr Scott said it was the latest in a series of issues, which included Mr Clerkin continuing a protest outside the Spanish consulate at the time of the 2017 Catalonia referendum against the wishes of other group.

Six members of the Scottish Resistance group went into the consulate building on North Castle Street, Edinburgh.

They unfurled a banner and stayed for a few minutes before leaving.

But they say Mr Clerkin stayed.

Spanish government officials ended up calling the police and Mr Clerkin was arrested.

Last year he was cleared of behaving in a threatening and abusive manner at the Spanish consulate.

HeraldScotland:

The group also quoted an incident when Mr Clerkin who claimed he had been assaulted at a Tory party election event was convicted of wasting police time.

Mr Clerkin gained access to a Scottish Conservative party event at Hamilton Academical FC stadium in April last year.

But before the event could get underway, Tory chiefs spotted Clerkin, of pro-independence group the Scottish Resistance, and he was asked to leave by Accies stadium manager Walter Hamilton.

As Mr Hamilton ushered Clerkin towards the exit, the campaigner fell to the ground and claimed he had been the victim of an assault.

Scottish Resistance said he wanted the group to go to the ground to confront Scottish Conservatives leader Ruth Davidson but could not get any support.

Mr Scott said: "I spent the entire day answering complaints about his latest stunt with the banner 'England Out Of Scotland. We told him that 'Westminster Out Of Scotland would be ok, but as always he did not listen."

In June, Mr Clerkin was suspended after he said he was quitting the nationalist cause over the SNP’s new economic prospectus which he describes as "a betrayal".

The move came after he said to The Herald he would no longer campaign for independence, in the wake of the long-awaited Sustainable Growth Commission report aimed at giving the economic argument for leaving the UK with a series of recommendations on how Scotland could become a prosperous separate nation.

Scottish Resistance said at the time that Sean Clerkin was suspended following his "stupid statements" to the press and responses to other members in the group "where he is known as Mr Marmite".

Mr Scott said: "He managed to survive then, but this time he has not survived. The members are sick and fed up with him. I get inundated with lots of emails and messages on Facebook because of his behaviour. So everyone wants him out now.

HeraldScotland:

"He has been banned, that's official. He is no longer with us. He is an absolute menace to the cause."

Asked if Mr Clerkin could appeal, Mr Scott said: "It is a decision that has been made and it will stand."

Mr Clerkin, who is known for chasing former Scottish Labour leader Iain Gray into a sandwich shop in 2011 said in response to the controversy: "The banner displayed at the SNP conference is not racist and is not anti English.

"What the banner is about is the conquest of Scotland in 1707 where the unelected parliamentarians in the Scottish Parliament were bribed by the English elite to sell Scotland out ,what the national bard Robert Burns called a parcel of rogues in a nation.

"Scotland is under a Westminster tyranny,an English monarch, the Bank of England etc where our people are enslaved every day to poverty, over a million of our people living in poverty 260,000 of them being children and with record numbers of homeless and food banks.

"The banner is a copy of the Sinn Fein banner that was in the St Patrick’s day parade a number of weeks ago."

His comments on social media concluded: "I make no apology for the banner as it is direct and to the point about our subjugation to the English or British state. Saor Alba."

Jan Goulding, spokesperson of English Scots for Yes, said many SNP members attending conference came out of the hall to ask the protesters to leave.

“This banner was utterly disgraceful and has no place in Scottish politics, or indeed Scotland. It absolutely does not represent the Yes movement, or indeed the SNP, many of whose members are English. Many delegates approached us at our stall inside the conference to offer their support for our group and to condemn the banner,” she said.

"At best, this banner is an ignorant confusion of England and English people with the institutions of Westminster. At worst, it is a blatant racist attack on English people in Scotland.”