A leading Scottish politician has faced a backlash over a tweet suggesting for a deadly Mediterranean heatwave should come to Scotland as it is “horribly chilly” here.

Murdo Fraser, the Conservative MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, was accused of “poking fun” at the climate crisis by a Glasgow councillor.

Accompanied by a sad face emoji, the tweet from Mr Fraser said: “Can we have some of that Mediterranean heatwave here please? It’s horribly chilly for July, have just had to put a winter jumper on.”

More than 40 people have died and thousands have been evacuated in Italy, Algeria and Greece as wildfires spread during the period of extreme temperatures.

Mr Fraser tweeted the comment on Tuesday but has now deleted it after a backlash on social media.

Glasgow Times:

Blasting Mr Fraser for “poking fun” at the situation, Glasgow Greens councillor Blair Anderson said: “He seems to be trying to undermine the fact that the climate crisis is something we should take seriously.”

The Partick East/Kelvindale councillor added: “Firefighters have died in Greece because of it. It has never been clearer that the climate crisis is here. It is affecting people today. It is not an abstract idea.

“We have mass evacuations in Europe – the climate crisis is making land uninhabitable. Forty people died because of wildfires around the Mediterranean. It is not a laughing matter.”

Glasgow Times:

Speaking on behalf of Mr Fraser who represents Mid Scotland and Fife, a Scottish Conservative spokesman said: “This was intended as a light-hearted reference to the chilly weather we are currently experiencing, which was deleted as soon as it became apparent that it was being misrepresented by political opponents.”

The UN’s World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) said heatwaves are set to become more severe and the extreme weather patterns show the need for more rapid climate action.

It said a study from climate scientists in the World Weather Attribution network showed that the “heatwaves bore the clear footprint of climate change.”

WMO Secretary-General Prof. Petteri Taalas said: “The extreme weather – an increasingly frequent occurrence in our warming climate – is having a major impact on human health, ecosystems, economies, agriculture, energy and water supplies. This underlines the increasing urgency of cutting greenhouse gas emissions as quickly and as deeply as possible.”