SCOTTISH Labour is under pressure to explain why an MP who used racist and homophobic language during a Burns Supper speech has not been suspended.

Hugh Gaffney, who represents Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill, made a joke about the bard not being “bent” and also referred to a “chinky” when describing a Chinese meal.

The MP apologised and has agreed to undergo diversity and equality training, but a senior Labour source said:

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“It’s bewildering that Hugh has only had to apologise and has not faced any disciplinary process. If the party truly wants a zero tolerance approach, and aims to lead by example, he should have been suspended as a member.”

The source said Labour colleagues wondered whether Gaffney's support for UK leader Jeremy Corbyn was the reason for the decision.

SNP Minister Humza Yousaf tweeted: “This is utterly awful. A simple apology and diversity training does NOT cut it! In fact it is a slap in the face to suggest this absolves him.”

He added: "At very least he should be suspended from the party and whip withdrawn."

Labour MSP Anas Sarwar, who said last week that he had been the victim of racist comments by a councillor colleague, also said on social media: “Today is sadly another example of why we need to recognise that everyday racism is a reality.”

As revealed by heraldscotland.com Gaffney, 54, made the remarks as he gave the Immortal Memory at a Scottish Labour student event in Edinburgh on Saturday evening.

The former postal worker referred to Burns loving women and said: “He started of being a farmer/But he really was such a charmer/Going for ales he frequent/Telling the lads and lassies he was not bent.”

Labour is proud of its record on LGBT rights and enacted landmark equalities legislation in government.

The party's general election manifesto from last year, which Gaffney was elected to help implement, stated: "Labour has a proud record of championing the fight for LGBT equality. We abolished Section 28, equalised the age of consent, created civil partnerships, and it was only through Labour votes that equal marriage became law.”

It is understood party bosses hauled Gaffney in for talks this week and he made an apology.

Councillor David McLachlan, who denies making a racist comment about Sarwar, was suspended last week, but Gaffney, who apologised, was not disciplined in this way.

Gaffney said: “Last week I attended a Labour Students Burns Supper In Edinburgh. At that event I used certain language relating to the Chinese and LGBT communities that was wrong and completely inappropriate. I want to offer my unreserved apologies for what I said; my remarks were deeply offensive and unacceptable. I will be taking part in equality and diversity training at the earliest opportunity. I will do everything possible to make amends with both the Chinese community and the LGBT community.”

An SNP spokesperson said: “He’s an elected representative in 2018, not a pub bore in a working men’s club of years gone by. While he’s hardly known as one of the more enlightened or progressive voices of the Labour movement, this language clearly has no place in modern politics – especially at a youth event.”

A Labour Party spokesperson said: “Hugh Gaffney MP has been reprimanded for using inappropriate and offensive language. He has apologised unreservedly and referred himself for equality and diversity training. The Labour Party is clear that this language is unacceptable.”