By Democrat reporter
The Scottish Conservatives have suspended their Holyrood candidate for Glasgow Pollok over what the party called “unacceptable comments”.
Craig Ross recorded a podcast last year in which he described food bank users as being more at risk of diabetes than starvation.
He also questioned the influence footballer Marcus Rashford has on UK government welfare policy.
The Conservatives said it was investigating Mr Ross’ comments.
In the interim, they have given him a yellow card which means he has been suspended but political pundits are speculating that a red card is soon to follow.
A spokesman added: “We have suspended this candidate and an investigation is under way. These unacceptable comments do not reflect the views of the party.”
Mr Ross, a former lecturer at Langside College, runs a podcast in which he delivers reaction to pieces in The Guardian newspaper “from the centre-right”.
In one episode recorded in June 2020, Mr Ross talked about the percentage of body fat of “ordinary people”.
Originally reported in the Daily Record, his comments were in response to a Channel 4 News piece featuring food banks.
He said: “We have no real grasp of just how ridiculously overweight the population is.
“I’m not saying that every single person who claims to be really hungry and is reliant on charity is also very overweight.
Members of the Foodshare team with Jackie Baillie MSP at Christmas time. Above, some members of the Craigandro Renton team who collected food and toys at Christmas.
“But what I am saying is if Channel 4 News is having a reasonable go at showing the reality of food bank usage, then we know the people that they filmed are far from starving. If anything their biggest risk is not starvation, it’s diabetes.”
On Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford, who has called on Boris Johnson to review the UK government’s free school meals policy, Mr Ross said: “Has Marcus Rashford stood for election to anything? Not that I’m aware of.”
Scottish Tory leader, Douglas Ross, who is an official SFA referee and linesman, has supported Mr Rashford’s campaign.
SNP Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf tweeted: “He should be thrown out the Party and Tories must confirm he is not going to be their candidate in Glasgow Pollok.”
The Holyrood elections are due to be held in less than four months on 6 May.