The Scottish Tory stand-in leader has apologised over a barb at Nicola Sturgeon for dyeing her hair.
The First Minister claimed that Jackson Carlaw had insulted “practically every woman in the country” with the quip as tempers flared during Holyrood exchanges today. It prompted Holyrood’s Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh to warn MSPs against making insults of a personal nature.
The Eastwood MSP later issued an apology on social media over his “crass” comments.
The flashpoint occurred as the First Minister set out her Programme for Government at Holyrood today. Ms Sturgeon, who has previously mocked Mr Carlaw over his ruddy complexion, made a similar jibe as they clashed over environmental targets.
“I think it’s probably embarrassment that’s making his face go a little bit red,” she stated.
But the Eastwood MSP, installed as interim leader after Ruth Davidson’s departure last week, hit back: “Not my skin tone again - listen First Minister at least I’ve got a full head of my own naturally coloured hair.”
The insult prompted cries of “shame” from SNP backbenchers and the First Minister accused the Tory leader of making a gaffe.
She said: “Let’s first of all not gloss over the fact that within a matter of days of losing their female leader, the interim leader has managed to insult practically every woman in the country with that, I would say rather ill advised quip at the start of his ill advised rant.”
Mr Carlaw later admitted he went too far.
“Apologies all, that was crass. And fair play to @NicolaSturgeon for getting under my (very red west of Scotland) skin,” he tweeted.