THE Tories heckled and jeered as a Scottish Government minister called on party leader Douglas Ross to “reflect” and “apologise” for attacking a Pride month event that will see a drag queen read storybooks to children.

Ross was roundly criticised on Tuesday after he said it would be “totally inappropriate” for young kids to attend the event at Elgin library, where performer Miss Lossie Mouth will read storybooks such as ‘And Tango Makes Three’, ‘Zee Zee the Zebra’, and ‘Unicorn NOT Wanted’.

At Holyrood on Thursday, SNP MSP Karen Adam linked Ross’s comments to hate crimes against LGBT people.

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She said: “LGBT+ hate crimes are soaring across these islands. Our words both within and outwith parliament have consequences.

“This week, Douglas Ross added to his sorry record on LGBT+ rights by suggesting that drag queen story time is inappropriate for children. Will the minister join me, and LGBT+ members and allies across the chamber, in condemning any homophobic and transphobic bigotry, which we know fuels anti-LGBT+ hate crime?”

Emma Roddick, the Scottish Government’s equalities minister, faced jeers from the Tory benches as she called for Ross to “reflect” on the impact of his comments.

The MSP for the Highlands and Islands – the same list as Ross was elected on – also called on the Scots Tory leader to attend the event he had criticised.

Roddick said: “Karen Adam raises an incredibly important point that we must take seriously.

“As I’ve said, we all have a collective responsibility to protect people from harm and the Scottish Govenrment is clear that any hatred or prejudice will not be tolerated.

“Mr Ross may want to reflect on his recent comments, which follow others that he’s made in regards to gypsy travellers as well. We all know there has been a proud tradition of drag artists in our society for many decades.”

Roddick raised the recent death of Scottish comedian George Logan, who was known for performing as drag queen Dr Evadne Hinge, before again calling on Ross to reflect.

She said: “Unless Mr Ross also wants to stop children going to the pantomime, I suggest he apologises for his comments, reflects, and attends the reading session in Elgin library, because he may learn something.

“In the meantime, they have my support … for this undeserved backlash.”

John Naples-Campbell, the educator who performs as Miss Lossie Mouth, also released a statement on Thursday calling for Ross to be held accountable for “his words and the hate that has been directed towards me and [the LGBT+] community”.

Moray Council, the Tory-run local authority which is holding the event at Elgin Library, has stood by the performer.

On Tuesday, it rebuffed the Scots Conservative leader, saying: “We appreciate and accept that everyone has differing views on drag queens but believe our fun, lively and joyous celebration of reading and self-expression is a suitable way to encourage confidence in our young readers.”

The Tories have been asked for comment.