THE Scottish Tories have accused an SNP MP of an “ignorant racial slur” after he said politicians whose make-up made them look “overly brown… tandoori themselves”. 

John Nicolson, a former BBC journalist who is now the MP for Ochil and South Perthsire, made the comment in a tweet he posted of himself last night.

Tory MSP Pam Gosal said: “The subtext is clear: brown people eat curry.”

SNP leadership candidate Kate Forbes distanced herself from Mr Nicolson's remark.

Asked about it at a press event today, she said: "I think that generally that's not language that I would use so. It's language I would distance myself from."

In a video showing him being made-up for an appearance on BBC Scotland’s Debate Night, Mr Nicolson said: “Now, I know what you’re thinking. John Nicolson doesn’t need make up. But for TV cameras and TV lights you do sometimes. Actually, you do always.

“If politicians put on their own make-up themselves, I’m right in saying they go a bit overly brown, so they tandoori themselves. That’s why you need a professional make-up person.”

He repeated the line in the accompanying text of the tweet.

He wrote: “Politicians that do their own makeup tend to ‘tandoori’ themselves.

"Thankfully I’ve a professional on hand to help for Debate Night.”

A tandoor is a traditional urn-shaped clay oven from India.

Ms Gosal today wrote to Mr Nicolson demanding he delete the tweet, and apologise for “an offensive stereotype that I hoped we’d left behind in the 1970s”.  

She said his remark showed “a complete lack of respect for the BAME community and disregard for the racism that our community faces every single day”.

She said: “I can’t believe John Nicolson thought this ignorant racial slur was remotely appropriate.

“To use the term ‘tandoori’ in relation to brown skin colour is grossly offensive. The subtext is clear: brown people eat curry.

“It’s an offensive stereotype that I’d hoped we’d left behind in the 1970s, yet here we have a supposedly ‘progressive’ politician using it in 2023.

“John Nicolson needs to apologise for his lazy and crude pigeonholing and remove this crass tweet.”

The SNP has been asked for comment.