LEE Anderson has been accused of showing “disdain” for the Western Isles after he suggested sending asylum seekers to the “remote” islands because “no one lives there”.

Speaking on the BBC’s Politics Live on Tuesday, the Reform MP was asked why the hard-right Dover MP Natalie Elphicke had defected to Labour and not his party if they are so strong on migration.

In his response, Anderson said Labour was “welcome to” Elphicke – and suggested sending asylum seekers to Scottish islands.

He said: “Well, I mean, that's up to Natalie. I mean, I was surprised that she made the move.

“She has been quite vocal on the subject, but, you know, they’re welcome to her at the end of the day. I mean, as an MP for Dover, yes, she's been vocal, but she's achieved very, very little.

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“And there is another solution to the illegal migrants, and this is going to probably get me into some sort of hot water with you lot in the media.

“I said this to a previous home secretary, I won't say which one, but if some of these migrants do land on the beaches, let's take them to a remote Scottish island somewhere, the Outer Hebrides where nobody lives, give them the building material and let them set their own camps up.

“I'm sure they'll be safe and free from persecution in war-torn France.”

Challenged by BBC host Jo Coburn, Anderson insisted his words were "not inflammatory rhetoric at all".

Angus MacNeil, the independent MP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar, quipped: “Isn’t Lee kind to refugees, sending them to such a lovely place, and so far away from Lee as well – so it would be a double win.”

MacNeil (below) further said Anderson’s comments showed how empty Reform UK’s Unionism was.

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“That's your typical allegedly very British MP,” MacNeil said. “He hasn't got a clue about the United Kingdom. He’s very ignorant of the United Kingdom.

“Perhaps, if he knew more, he'd realise that Scotland should be independent, but he doesn't know more.”

Accusing Anderson of showing “disdain” to people in his constituency, MacNeil went on: “It also lets people know that there's no great love for them from the likes of the Tories or Reform.”

Maggie Martin, from MacNeil’s campaign team, added: "If only we had known nobody lives here we wouldn't have needed so many leaflets and Correx posters!”

Alba General Election candidate and general secretary Chris McEleny also hit out at Anderson for the remarks, saying: “I’ve always been a proponent of ‘play the ball not the man’ but I don’t know what else you can say other than describe Lee Anderson as a clown and not a serious politician.

“Serious issues of the day deserve thought out proposals that don’t disparage Scotland’s island communities.

“Scots will oppose any attempts by Lee Anderson or Reform UK to import racist and inflammatory nonsense into Scotland.”