A Brexit Party candidate in Glasgow has been slammed after he described the leader of a far right party in France as a “breath of fresh air”.

Danyaal Raja, who will contest Glasgow South at the general election for Nigel Farage’s party, said Marine Le Pen was “inspiring” young people and putting "French people first".

He also backed Donald Trump’s plan to build a wall between the US and Mexico, and defended the President’s policy of banning people from predominantly Muslim countries.

Labour MSP Anas Sarwar, chair of the Scottish Parliament's Cross-Party Group on Tackling Islamophobia, said:

“Donald Trump and Marine Le Pen are xenophobic politicians intent on stoking divisions within society and creating an us-versus-them world. They offer nothing but hate at a time when we need hope.

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“It is deeply disappointing, although sadly not surprising, that the Brexit Party has a candidate who supports these politicians and their extremist views.”

The Brexit Party, set up to ensure that the UK leaves the EU, rocked the political establishment in June by winning the European election.

Fronted by Farage, the new party is also contesting the general election and it announced a wave of candidates last week.

One of the candidates, Raja, made a speech in the House of Commonsin 2017 at the UK Youth Parliament. He also gave an online interview in the same year, during which he expressed sympathy for right wing politicians who have backed a crackdown on immigration.

On Trump, he said: “I tuned in to watch him announcing his candidacy, he spoke the truth and said what people were really thinking, and I thought to myself I like him!”

Raja, a Muslim, also defended the Trump administration’s travel ban, which restricts entry to the US for nationals from several countries. “The ban is not a ban on Muslims,” he said at the time “It is a ban on all nationals from seven countries which either have no stable government, the government refuses to share details of citizens with the US government, or as a country they are engulfed in civil war.”

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On the President’s notorious plan for a wall on the US border, he said: “I want him to build a wall, enforce taxes on US companies who have moved to Mexico and be a politician who does what he promised the people he would do.”

He also praised Le Pen, who is the president of the far right National Rally, which used to be known as the Front National.

Le Pen, whose father Jean Marie once described the Nazi gas chambers as a “detail” of history, was criticised in 2010 after comparing Muslim street prayers to the Nazi occupation of France in World War Two.

Raja said during the interview: “Marine is inspiring young people to vote. She opposes the European Union and ever-increasing globalization and wants to put the people of France first.”

On the last French presidential election, in which Le Pen was a candidate, he said: “Marine Le Pen is [sic] will win because she is a breath of fresh air – opposed to the increasingly failing European Union and wanting to put the French people first.”

Asked whether Raja still holds these views, a spokesman for the Brexit Party said: "We believe that Mr Raja continues to broadly hold these views.

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"To that end he is still a Muslim, and he points out explicitly that though there is a rise of democratic populism across the free world which he supports, ‘we must proceed with caution and work together to ensure that extremists do not become mainstream’.

"To that end he believes in a vibrant democracy, is concerned by stultified technocracy, but is wise to the dangers of populism.

"Any support was for their anti-globalist and EU stances, and for engaging the forgotten young and working-class people in a political system that has left them behind.".