AN SNP policy adviser has been suspended and accused of racism after saying Priti Patel should be ‘sent back to Uganda’.

Dr Tim Rideout, who is a member of the SNP’s Policy Development Committee and runs a group about currency in an independent Scotland, posted the inflammatory message on social media.

In response to a tweet about the Home Secretary, Dr Rideout asked “So how do we send this person back to Uganda?”.

He added: “Clearly hasn’t a shred of humanity. Mind you, maybe the new refugee centre on St Helena might avoid inflicting her on anyone.”

Ms Patel was born in the UK and is of Indian and Ugandan heritage.

Opposition politicians have condemned the remarks and have urged the SNP to cut ties completely with the economist.

The Herald flagged the comments, made almost a week ago, to the SNP, with a spokesman saying they were “offensive and disgusting.”

It is understood Mr Rideout has now been suspended from the party after The Herald highlighted the remarks today, with the National Secretary investigating further.

Speaking before the suspension, Scottish Conservative MSP Donald Cameron, the party’s shadow Secretary for Constitution, External Affairs and Culture said the comment was “completely beyond the pale”.

He said: “To make such a racially-charged remark like this is totally unacceptable – it has no place in civilised debate.

“As well as issuing an unreserved apology to the Home Secretary, Tim Rideout should consider his own position.

“Equally, Nicola Sturgeon must reassess his role and influence within her party immediately, or risk turning a blind eye to this kind of behaviour.

“The First Minister must send a clear message that appalling remarks such as this have no place in our political discourse.”

Labour’s Shadow Scottish Secretary Ian Murray MP added: “These are truly horrendous and outright racist remarks from a key advisor to Nicola Sturgeon.

“While I am no supporter of Priti Patel, nobody should be subjected to this kind of out and out racism. It has no place in Scotland.”

He continued: “Nicola Sturgeon must suspend Tim Rideout’s membership of the SNP and remove him from his advisory positions immediately.

“I also hope Police Scotland take action.”

Meanwhile Alex Cole-Hamilton, the leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, said: “Mr Rideout is an influential figure in the Nationalist movement, which makes this nakedly racist broadside all the more serious.”

He added that while Priti Patel “has much to answer for in her approach both to both immigration and to refugees” it was possible to criticise her “many terrible decisions…without resorting to this kind of racially-charged language.”

He added: “The leadership of the SNP should condemn this and sever ties with him immediately.”

Dr Rideout, who also runs map-making company XYZ maps, is leader of the Scottish Currency Group, which discusses and advises on plans for a currency in an independent Scotland.

While an SNP member, he has also appeared on the Scottish Greens podcast, alongside co-leader Lorna Slater, to discuss currency issues.

Last year he came under fire after he coached independence activists on how to apply for Covid business grants from the UK Government

As reported by the Courier, Dr Rideout posted on the Scottish Currency Group Facebook page that it would be a “criminal waste” for Yes supporters to miss out on claiming up to £10,000 through the scheme, supposed to help businesses struggling through the pandemic, and said he had “hopefully” made £50,000 “for the indy cause” in a single day through it.

He wrote: “If you have any connection to any Yes group that either owns or is the tenant of shop premises, an office or similar then please ensure they have submitted an application for the Covid-19 business support grant of £10,000.”

In reference to Chancellor Rishi Sunak, he added: “Yes, that is a free gift of £10,000…that the lovely and kind Rishi Washi is handing out to Yes groups.”

Dr Rideout is also reported to have asked for a donation to the Currency Group from those bodies which were successful in getting a Covid grant from the government.

The Herald approached Dr Rideout for comment on his remarks but received no reply.

Asked if they would be cutting ties with Dr Rideout, an SNP spokesperson said: "This tweet is offensive and disgusting.” 

An SNP source added: “The National Secretary has been made aware and is looking into this.”