A FORMER SNP MSP has written to Nicola Sturgeon to condemn her “incomprehensible” decision to scrap a proposed £150 million tax cut for the airline industry and rethink support for a third runway at Heathrow.

Chic Brodie, who represented the South Scotland region from 2011 until 2016, said the First Minister’s “headline hugging” of the last few weeks had not helped tackle climate change, as the SNP said.

He said: “One is sometimes easily [tempted] by a bandwagon running past but the comments have appeared to have been made in ignorance of work being done in the aerospace industry on reduced emissions.”

It comes after Ms Sturgeon ditched her manifesto pledge to slash air passenger duty as she seeks to tackle climate change.

Last week, she also signalled her government could drop its support for a third runway at Heathrow airport due to the “climate emergency” threatening humanity.

Mr Brodie, who quit the SNP to stand as an independent in council elections in 2017, previously criticised Ms Sturgeon’s “presidential” campaign in the run up to the 2016 Holyrood elections.

In an email to the First Minister, he wrote: “As a director of the Confederation of Economic Development Ayrshire, I found your reported comments re: the third runway at Heathrow and re: air passenger duty incomprehensible and without research.”

Mr Brodie said the comments appeared to have been made without consulting local MPs and MSPs.

He added: “The ‘headline hugging’ of the last few weeks has not helped the climate cause as it doesn’t with other needs.”

At the 2016 Holyrood election, the SNP promised a 50 per cent reduction in air departure tax, the proposed devolved version of air passenger duty, by 2021. The long-term plan was to abolish it entirely.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “In light of the updated advice from the UK Committee on Climate Change – and the new net zero target adopted as a result – we have taken the difficult decision that reducing air departure tax is no longer compatible with our climate responsibilities and acted accordingly.”

He added that the Government welcomes the efforts of tourism and aviation bosses to reduce carbon emissions “and will continue work with them to support the sector”.