Richard Leonard has issued an apology after a Scottish homelessness charity accused him and other politicians of using an image of their soup kitchen for "political gain."

The Scottish Labour leader has insisted that the party is committed to "eradicating poverty and homelessness in Scotland", and apologised for not crediting the charity's work.

His original tweet, that included the image of a Glasgow soup kitchen, called out the SNP for focusing on independence rather than addressing issues of poverty and inequality.

READ MORE: Richard Leonard accused of using soup kitchen image for 'political gain' by charity

It read: “While the SNP rattle their sabres over independence, this is the scene outside a soup kitchen in Glasgow.

“The SNP has failed the people of Scotland and have no desire to take the radical action that we need to eradicate poverty and inequality in Scotland.”

However, the charity behind the picture since criticised Mr Leonard for using the image for "political gain", as well as Scottish Labour's Neil Findlay and Cara Hilton, who also shared the image.

In a statement released on Sunday evening, Richard Leonard said: "I am sorry that my tweet did not credit the work of Homeless Project Scotland, and the exemplary work of its volunteers in supporting people affected by homelessness.

"Under my leadership, Scottish Labour is committed to eradicating poverty and homelessness in Scotland, and we support the work of all charities working to this end.

"I have helped out at Glasgow soup kitchens before, and I hope to again in the near future. I am looking forward to engaging with Homeless Project Scotland and discussing how Scottish Labour can support its work across communities and in Parliament."

Homeless Project Scotland earlier said they were “appalled and disappointed” that the politicians had used the image for “political gain” without appearing to take any interest in the charity.

MSP Neil Findlay had used the image in a tweet that read: "Apparently this was the queue at the Glasgow soup kitchen last night - I bet you won't hear much about that today from Nicola Sturgeon in her speech. 

"This is in the city she represents - I don't care which political party anyone comes from there must be a collective effort to end this disgraceful situation where so many people cannot afford to eat."

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Likewise, Scottish Labour Chair called the image "shameful", adding: "Yet we have an SNP Government failing to act to tackle food poverty and a Tory Government taking us back on the road to austerity while continuing to line the pockets of their rich friends."

Homeless Project Scotland is a charity that supports Scotland’s homeless and struggling communities, regularly running soup kitchens and providing an average of 2,500 meals per week to homeless people in Scotland.

In a series of tweets posted over the weekend, they said they were "appalled and disappointed" at the use of the charity's image for "political gain" and invited all party leaders to engage with their work.

Their statement read: "As a non-political charity, our response today has been to invite the leaders of ALL parties, to witness our work so they can speak with knowledge of the current homeless issues on the streets of Scotland."

They added: "We are saddened to see Twitter accounts from across the political spectrum, not just Labour, retweeting this image in order to further their own political agendas.

"Rather than attacking one another, why not support our work and donate."