A Fife SNP MP has been accused of sharing “offensive nonsense” and mocking a rival by Labour as a war of words broke out between the two parties.
Douglas Chapman, who represents Dunfermline and West Fife, retweeted a post which claimed votes for Labour at the next election will be for “English colonial rule”.
The post – from a pro-independence account on X – insisted Scotland will “still be governed by London” if Sir Keir Starmer’s party oust the Tories.
It featured a picture which attempted to mock Labour candidate Mr Downie using a photoshopped speech bubble to suggest he was arguing in favour of “colonial” rule from England.
Mr Downie claimed his SNP rival Mr Chapman was abandoning “dignity and honesty” by sharing it.
‘Abandoned any sense of dignity and honesty’
But nationalist veteran Mr Chapman, standing down at the next election, refused to back down and branded Dunfermline Labour “the Tory Party with a red rosette”.
Mr Downie, currently a Labour councillor in Fife, said: “This kind of offensive nonsense just shows how desperate the SNP have become.
“A UK Labour Government is going to bring dignity and honesty back to politics across the UK.
“Clearly Mr Chapman has abandoned any sense of either and that is why he has chosen to stand down rather than face the electorate.
He added: “I hope reasonable people in the SNP, including their candidate for Dunfermline and Dollar, will denounce this kind of campaigning but I’m not holding my breath.”
But Mr Chapman replied: “We’d all like to hear what Labour actually stand for instead of just the usual carping from the sidelines.
“As far as most people in this constituency can tell it seems like the Tory Party with a red rosette which will change nothing.”
The row comes in a key target area Scottish leader Anas Sarwar will be hoping to win back from the SNP when voters next go to the polls.
MP’s exit after ‘plot’ to oust him
Mr Chapman, a former SNP treasurer, announced last June he would quit as an MP at the next Westminster election.
It came after reports of a “plot” to get rid of him by local party members.
Mr Chapman stood firm at the time, claiming attempts to oust him had “backfired badly”.
West Fife Councillor Naz Anis Miah will contest the new Dunfermline and Dollar seat for the SNP at the next election against Mr Downie.
The first choice to fight for the constituency, Rosyth Councillor Brian Goodall, quit just weeks after he was picked.