WARNINGS by a Scots councillor over the accommodation of Syrian refugees have sparked fresh fury after a far-right group announced a protest on the back of the claims.

The Scottish Defence League (SDL) said it would hold a rally in Wishaw in Lanarkshire, just weeks after the council's former housing convenor said handing the refugees houses, rather than maisonettes or flats, could provoke anger among locals.

Sam Love, who quit Labour after being axed from his senior post, said the Syrians “can’t be jumping into homes...with front and back doors and gardens", adding that local families had been kept on waiting lists for over a decade.

It emerged today that the SDL will stage a protest in Wishaw, a spokesman for the group telling a local newspaper: "You will be aware of the media coverage of councillor Sam Love trying to speak up on behalf of locals who have told him their concerns only for the leader of North Lanarkshire Council to brand their concerns as “totally outrageous”.

“We have been asked to have demo there by the locals and our Wishaw division to highlight the issue just as we did for locals in Alloa."

Jim Logue, the Labour leader of North Lanarkshire Council, said he believed the group had decided to come to the town because of his former colleague's comments.

He said: “This is the first time that the Scottish Defence League have expressed an interest in hosting a demonstration anywhere in North Lanarkshire.

“Undoubtedly, they have chosen Wishaw because of the bitter and distasteful comments recently made by Sam Love in relation to Syrian refugees.

“This is precisely the kind of incitement to hatred I feared would arise from his ill-judged comments. The Scottish Defence League are racists, pure and simple, and should be rightly condemned."

Mr Love described the SDL plans as "shocking", describing the group as fascists and claiming their presence was unwanted in the town.

He said: “We don’t want these idiots parading up and down Wishaw. I have to deal with about six phone calls or emails per day about housing issues.

“One woman whose daughter has a mental illness contacted me for help because she was offered a flat two flights up and it was unsuitable for her daughter. These are the types of issues that we have to face every day.”

Mr Love and several colleagues quit Labour a year ago after Mr Logue became leader and removed them from their posts. Along with a number de-selected by Labour Mr Love will contest the May local elections as the Independent Alliance.

North Lanarkshire will re-settle 180 refugees in total as part of the UK Government’s Syrian Resettlement Programme with some already in Airdrie, Coatbridge, Bellshill and Motherwell.

Council sources previously told The Herald that most housing stock in the Wishaw area, where they claim the authority has most vacancies, are front and back door properties.

The SDL spokesman told the Wishaw Press: “The date has still to be confirmed but it will be within the next couple of months.

“Local residents have contacted us as they are angry that refugees are getting houses with front and back gardens while locals are stuck in overcrowded flats and some of them are disabled and homeless who are stuck in sheltered housing and temporary accommodation."