AN SNP council candidate who is originally from Poland has been hit with a barrage of xenophobic abuse for being involved in Scottish politics without holding a UK passport.

Olaf Stando, an SNP staffer who stood in last week’s election in the Burntisland, Kinghorn and West Kirkcaldy ward, wrote on Twitter than he did not have UK citizenship or a British passport – prompting hundreds of vile messages, including calls for him to be deported to Rwanda.

Stando has lived in Scotland for roughly 10 years, having moved here as a child first in 2005, living in England for some time and then returning north of the Border in 2014.

Foreign nationals who meet all of the Electoral Commission’s qualifications for candidate eligibility, including having pre-settled status or indefinite leave to remain in the UK, are able to stand in local elections.

“How the hell can a foreigner stand as a member of our parliament,” one troll responded while tagging Home Secretary Priti Patel.

“Somehow think @thehomeoffice might want to know about your case!” added another Unionist account with thousands of followers.

“You really should be deported,” added another account named “UK Union Voice”.

The Majority, the campaign group described as “ultra-Unionist” by the SNP’s Tommy Sheppard, also attacked Stando for supporting Scottish independence without being a UK citizen - calling his actions "sickening".

Others even falsely suggested that Stando’s Polish ancestors had been “agitators” who welcomed Nazis during the Second World War, despite him being Jewish and having lost relatives to the Holocaust.

“My family resisted the Nazis, and then the Soviets,” he pointed out.

“This deeply insulting drivel may be easy to spout from behind the cloak of anonymity - but it’s hugely damaging to our politics and makes the environment toxic for new Scots.”

Stando told The National he has adjusted to receiving online abuse – but expressed fears over the consequences of xenophobia for other new Scots interested in getting involved in politics.

“I love Scotland to bits and I’m in politics because I want to play my part in making it an even better place," he said. "Like many New Scots, I was drawn to the Yes movement by its inclusive character and a progressive vision for the future.”

The National:

Stando said that since the 2021 election he’s seen xenophobic hate increase online.

He went on: “Whether it’s calls for me to be deported, or the constant labelling of me as a ‘traitor’, it’s clear that a vocal part of the Unionist cybersphere now feels increasingly emboldened to spout naked xenophobia.”

“The xenophobic abuse of the kind I and many others have been receiving pollutes our body politic - and it’s been increasingly amplified and stirred up,” he said.

“It must always be called out. I’ll continue doing just that and standing in solidarity with all those who face abuse, so that fellow New Scots do not get bullied out of Scottish politics.”

Stando has received messages of support from many people online, including writer and historian David C Weinczok – who also lives in Scotland with his EU citizenship.

READ MORE: New Scots: 'I felt Scottish during indyref ... but Brexit is scary'

“I'm another like you, Olaf,” he reassured the former candidate. “Lived in Scotland 10 years, got here thanks to an EU citizenship and I do not hold a UK passport or citizenship.

“Never mind the outrageous cost of getting one, it is not necessary in order to call this your home or to participate in this democracy.”

A fellow SNP member wrote to Stando: “If ever a tweet exposed the xenophobia and insular nature of British Nationalism and Unionism it is this one.

“Proud to live in Scotland where those who share our love for our country and call it home are welcomed and encouraged to fully participate in our society.”

“You are in Scotland and belong here,” added a further supporter.