An SNP MP has been accused of using an “ignorant racial slur” after saying politicians who apply their own make up look “overly brown” and “tandoori themselves”.
John Nicolson made the comments on Wednesday night in a now-deleted tweet ahead of his appearance on BBC Scotland’s Debate Night programme.
The MP for Ochil and South Perthshire 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.”
The politician used the same phrase in the Twitter caption, writing: “Politicians that do their own make up tend to ‘tandoori’ themselves.
“Thankfully I’ve a professional on hand to help for Debate Night.”
Scottish Tory MSP Pam Gosal urged Nicolson to apologise for promoting the “offensive stereotype”.
She said his comments showed a “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.”
Nicolson and the SNP have been approached for comment.