AN economist disciplined by the SNP over remarks he made about Priti Patel is to be allowed back into the party after agreeing to do an anti-racism course and after having his party membership suspended for six months.

Tim Rideout, who was a member of the SNP’s policy development committee and runs a cross party group about currency in an independent Scotland, will resume his membership from this Friday.

Dr Rideout wrote the inflammatory message on social media in early March amid a row about the former Home Secretary's policy on refugees from Ukraine.

It emerged she had raised a concern with Taoiseach Micheal Martin that Ireland - which had an open door policy on Ukrainian refugees - could be used as a potential backdoor to the UK by people fleeing the war in Ukraine.

In response to a tweet about the matter, Dr Rideout wrote on Twitter: “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 condemned the remarks and urged the SNP to cut ties completely with the senior activist.

The Herald flagged the comments to the SNP at the time and a spokesman said they were “offensive and disgusting".

Nicola Sturgeon asked to urged to "root out and condemn toxic racist political discourse" in the SNP when she was pressed by Scottish Conservative MSP Pam Gosal at First Minister's Questions.

Dr Rideout was suspended by the party in mid March and an investigation into the matter was launched.

It is understood a complaint of misconduct was upheld at a party committee meeting over the summer with the sanction imposed of a six month suspension of Dr Rideout's membership.

However, the committee decided he could rejoin the party if he agreed to take a course decided by the party in anti-racism education and unconscious bias within the coming months.

In a statement to The Herald, Dr Rideout, who was expelled from South Africa for campaigning against apartheid as a student in 1985, said he recognised his error, accepted the consequences and would do the anti-racism course as required.

He said: "I shall undertake any training necessary to enable me to continue to play a part in the democracy of a political party. I hope to continue the work to inform SNP members and party policy on the need for a Scottish currency and other aspects of the economic case for independence as we approach the next few decisive years.

"I recognise my personal error in this case of a badly worded tweet, have learned lessons and have fully accepted the consequences. As someone who was expelled from South Africa for my anti-apartheid stance I have definitely been through worse."

The economist and geographer apologised to Ms Patel in March.

In a statement provided to The Herald at that time, Dr Rideout denied being racist. He also deleted the offending tweet.

He said: “I spent my school and university days in apartheid South Africa. I was so appalled by the racism that I refused to accept the system and was ultimately expelled in January 1985 because of it.

“So it is very difficult for me to hear myself described as a racist.

“But I realise that the language I used in a Tweet is far too close to what many people who have experienced racism will have heard far too often in their lifetimes and I realise how that will affect them.

“I apologise unreservedly to Ms Patel and to anyone else who read my words and was reminded of the kind of attacks they’ve lived with all their life. What I don’t apologise for is my anger at what I think is the inhumanity of Priti Patel and the Tory Government.

“The Nationality and Borders Bill disregards the UK’s obligations under the UN Charter on Refugees and will entirely predictably kill children, women and men as and when their boats get turned back in the English Channel.

“The final outrage is the way they have tried to shirk the moral responsibility to reach out a hand of help and welcome to Ukrainian refugees who desperately need it.”

Ms Patel stood down as Home Secretary after Liz Truss won the Conservative leadership election earlier this month.

Suella Braverman KC succeeds in her in the role.

A SNP spokesman confirmed that a complaint against Dr Rideout was upheld and a sanction imposed.