Council Leader John Ross has been slammed for sending a controversial tweet with “the perfect answer to our unionist friends”.
Cllr Ross attended the independence rally in Glasgow, where he tweeted two photographs which have drawn condemnation.
The photos highlighted banners at the rally, one of which stated: “Ram yer union up yer hoop.” The other depicted excrement with a Union Jack flying from it.
Liberal Democrat leader Robert Brown and Labour leader Joe Fagan have both criticised the SNP council leader for the tweet.
Cllr Brown said: “I don’t know what Cllr Ross is thinking in pushing these childish and offensive tweets. Sadly it is not the first time the SNP leader of South Lanarkshire Council has done so.
“Unpleasant comments like this show an arrogance and contempt – people are already bitterly divided by the independence issue and Brexit without senior SNP representatives stoking the fires of resentment and prejudice.”
Cllr Fagan added: “John Ross is perfectly entitled to his opinions, but as Leader of the Council he has a responsibility to everyone in South Lanarkshire. He needs to remember that before he fires off another one of his tweets.”
Cllr Jared Wark, spokesperson for the Conservative group added: “This tweet is unacceptable and falls below the standard expected from the leader of the council. He has badly let down SLC by making it clear how he feels about the majority of its residents who do not share his views on independence.”
Cllr Ross has deleted the tweet and apologised for sending it in the first place.
He said: “I was one of the thousands of people who took part in the independence rally. My support for independence is well known, and I am proud to be part of the campaign for another independence referendum.
“The wording and images were not the sort of thing I would use myself and when I had a chance to reflect on this, I decided to delete the tweet from my timeline.
“I respect that other people may not share my political views and will be careful to take cognisance of this in any future tweets.
“I am fully committed to doing the best that I can for South Lanarkshire and all its residents, regardless of their political views or none. Certainly, I never intended to offend and my apologies go to anyone who was offended.”
Cllr Ross tweeted from his personal account and did not tweet in connection with his role as leader of South Lanarkshire Council.
South Lanarkshire Council declined to comment.