GLASGOW Labour MSPs and a former council leader have denied claims they are “stoking bigotry” in criticising senior SNP councillors over the Rangers fan zone row.

It is the latest development in the ongoing row over Rangers being refused permission to use a Glasgow Life football facility for a four match fan zone pilot before matches.

MSPs Pauline McNeill, Anas Sarwar and councillor, Frank McAveety have demanded an apology in a letter written to Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow City Council over remarks she made on Twitter.

READ MORE: Lib Dem MSP hits back at council leader’s ‘exploiting sectarian division’ accusation amid Rangers fan zone row

A row broke out over claims by Rangers that Ms Aitken and her deputy had intervened to prevent a hearing about a fan zone being held at Ibrox on a council owned facility.

Rangers were told by Glasgow Life that it did not have permission to use the facility across from Ibrox because it did not have community support for the fan zone proposal.

Ms Aitken and Mr McDonald have said they did not intervene or instruct Glasgow life to withdraw permission.

Ms Aitken criticised the three Labour politicians for their intervention and claimed they were “knowingly exploiting sectarian division on this issue”.

Her deputy David McDonald was subjected to abuse and threats on twitter with sectarian abuse and mentions of violence being directed at him.

READ MORE: Rangers fan group’s scathing attack on senior SNP figures for rejecting Ibrox fan zone plans

In a joint letter the Labour trio said: “Twitter is often a heated and hostile environment and we strongly condemn the abuse you and your deputy have experienced. It’s unacceptable however to make the claim that our role in asking legitimate questions of you amounts to ‘stoking bigotry’.”

They added: “Such is the strength of feeling we would ask that you withdraw this allegation and apologise for it immediately.”

They said Ms Aitken was “deliberately attempting to impugn our reputation” and risked provoking social media abuse towards those named.

Ms Aitken also wrote to Rangers and was critical of staff at the club for using social media to allege footballing bias.

She said she had no objection in principle to Rangers hosting a fan zone.