An independent candidate has come under fire after claiming the Covid pandemic has been caused by gay marriage.

Retired mussel farmer Peter Tait is standing in the Scottish Parliament elections next month as a candidate in Shetland.

He is backing an anti-gay marriage stance, adding “Covid is possibly related to it”.

His comments were branded as “vile” by critics online, who labelled him an “idiot” and a “bigot”.

Tait claimed his position was related to his religious beliefs.

He said: “I’m representing, as best I can, things God would want me to represent.”

Asked if he understood there would likely be a backlash to his views, he said: “I suppose there likely will.”

Kerrie Meyer, founder of ShetlandLGBTQ.org.uk, said: “It is obvious to any sane an d educated person that Mr Tait is clearly an idiot by espousing such a nonsense notion.

“His ridiculous belief that Covid is a causation of gay marriage is not only a dangerous conspiracy theory but could propagate and incite hate of gay people and surely contravenes the Equality Act 2010.”

By editor2