Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath election candidate Neale Hanvey has offered to meet members of the Jewish community amid allegations of anti-Semitism.
The former SNP member, still reeling after being suspended by the party over comments made on social media more than two years ago, told The Courier he wanted to better understand the use of anti-Semitic language.
Mr Hanvey will still stand for election on December 12 without party support, although he will still be listed as an SNP candidate on the ballot paper under election rules.
An election address, due to be distributed on Monday, has been cancelled and he will continue his independent campaign for the marginal seat via social media.
“It’s the only way I can realistically continue campaigning,” he said.
He has fully accepted the party’s decision to suspend him and said he hoped to be reinstated following an investigation.
“Regardless, I will continue to work in the interests of the SNP because I believe in Nicola Sturgeon and the aims of the party,” he said.
Mr Hanvey, who has also faced allegations of being transphobic, insisted he was not a hateful person.
He has apologised “unreservedly” for sharing an article from Russian-state news network Sputnik, which contained an image of Jewish investor George Soros “controlling world leaders like a puppet master” and for drawing parallels between the treatment of Palestinians and the “unconscionable” treatment of the Jews during the Second World War.
“In the first instance I read the article but didn’t look at the picture,” he said. “I didn’t know George Soros was Jewish and it wasn’t in any way intentional.
“The second one was a real bone of contention for the party and I appreciate it because Nicola has been very clear about anti-Semitism. I completely agree with that.
“A couple of years ago there were young people on the Israel-Palestine border who were being shot and I was so incensed by that I guess my emotions got the better of me.
“I have to bear responsibility for my choice of post.”
Mr Hanvey said, however, he was “not as tight” on the SNP’s position on reforming gender recognition law and has questioned whether some male predators could use it to abuse women.
“Because I have raised concerns that has been interpreted, very wrongly, that I’m a transphobe,” he said.
“As someone who has been chair of Pride, that’s pretty hard to accept.”
Polls published before his suspension had suggested Mr Hanvey was on course to unseat Labour’s Lesley Laird, who is the current Shadow Scottish Secretary.
He said: “Even with the SNP’s support, I wasn’t taking anything for granted.
“There’s been a dip in support since the coverage but I’ve been humbled by the messages of support I’ve received on Facebook.”