THE Scottish Tories are in hiding over comments made by the main party’s top donor, Frank Hester, regarding Labour MP Diane Abbott.

The Guardian revealed that Hester – who has given the Conservative Party £10m in the last year – said that looking at Diane Abbott makes you “want to hate all black women” and that the MP “should be shot”.

In a 2019 meeting at his company’s headquarters, healthcare technology firm the Phoenix Partnership (TPP), Hester (below) spoke about an executive from another organisation.

The National: Frank Hester donated £10 million to the Tories last year (CHOGM Rwanda 2022/YouTube/PA)

He said: “She’s shit. She’s the shittest person. Honestly I try not to be sexist but when I meet somebody like [the executive], I just …

“It’s like trying not to be racist but you see Diane Abbott on the TV and you’re just like, I hate, you just want to hate all black women because she’s there, and I don’t hate all black women at all, but I think she should be shot."

On Tuesday evening, Abbott said that she had reported Hester to the police, and No10 finally conceded the remarks were racist.

Responding to calls made by both the Labour Party and the SNP for Hester’s donations to be withdrawn, a Conservative spokesperson told The National: “Mr Hester has made clear that while he was rude, his criticism had nothing to do with her gender nor the colour of her skin. He has since apologised."

READ MORE: Scots could have some of the 'cheapest electricity in Europe', says top energy CEO

The National reached out to the Scottish Conservatives to ask if the party would be condemning the comments made by Hester, or demanding the donation be withdrawn.

The party told The National it would “effectively be saying the same thing” as the central party in Westminster, and that it had nothing to add.

'It's appalling, it's unforgiveable'

Speaking on The National’s Talking Scotland podcast in collaboration with the Aberdeen Independence Movement on Tuesday, SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn (below) said Abbott “should be expecting more than an apology”.

The National: Stephen Flynn will discuss the north-east's path to net zero

“It’s appalling, it’s unforgiveable,” Flynn said.

He added that the Conservative Party should be returning the donations made by Hester.

“Of course they should. You can’t in any sort of public role be making racist comments. And they are racist, there’s no two ways about it.

“The Tories should be giving the cash back and they should be saying no more, no thank you.

“It’s appalling, I feel really sorry for Diane.”

Speaking at the London School of Economics on Thursday, First Minister Humza Yousaf (below) said the Conservatives should return the funding from Frank Hester and “tell him where his money should go”.

The National:

Yousaf said the comments from Hester were not just “racist” and “sexist” but were “inciting hatred”.

“If the Conservative Party had any moral principle, then they would return every single penny and tell him where his money should go – that is my honest view,” he said.

Meanwhile, Scottish Greens MSP Maggie Chapman (below) said the comments were “vile” and urged the Conservatives to return any donations made by Hester.

The National: Maggie Chapman

“These comments are truly vile. They are bigoted and misogynistic, and they are racist. They have no place in the 21st century, let alone anywhere near a government,” Chapman said.

“It is shameful that Tory Ministers are rolling out their pathetic excuses and trying to defend these awful outbursts. The Tories must immediately return his donations and ensure that they don’t take another penny from him in the future.

READ MORE: Inside the crucial life-saving work in Gaza your donations go towards

“This isn’t just about Frank Hester, however. It is also about the Prime Minister’s judgement and his integrity. If he keeps the money it will tell us everything we need to know about him and his party.

“We need to make big changes to a broken system that is allowing extremely wealthy men to bankroll political parties and secure influence.”

Scottish Labour MSP Richard Leonard (below) expressed “solidarity” with Abbott in a post on Twitter/X and called for her to have the Labour whip restored.

The National:

Abbott lost the Labour whip in April after she wrote a letter to The Observer suggesting that Jewish people did not experience racism, but experienced “prejudice” similar to that of people with red hair.

Labour leader Keir Starmer has called the comments made by Hester “abhorrent”, and urged the Conservatives to return the donations.

Late on Tuesday evening, Downing Street finally stepped in to say the comments were “racist and wrong”.

In a new statement issued on Tuesday evening, the Prime Minister’s spokesman said: “The comments allegedly made by Frank Hester were racist and wrong. He has now rightly apologised for the offence caused and where remorse is shown it should be accepted.

“The Prime Minister is clear there is no place for racism in public life and as the first British-Asian Prime Minister leading one of the most ethnically diverse Cabinets in our history, the UK is living proof of that fact.”