Veteran councillor Andy Doig has been suspended by the Scottish National Party (SNP) after a private email was reported to the party headquarters.
The email contains sexists and homophobic comments and jokes about political rivals.
Mr Doig currently serves on Renfrewshire Council as the elected representative for Johnstone North, Kilbarchan and Lochwinnoch and was the selected SNP candidate in the Holyrood elections next year.
He has now resigned as the candidate for the Renfrewshire South constituency after securing 54 per cent of the vote from local SNP members.
After the win he was reported to SNP HQ amid claims he used insider information to canvas support from party members weeks before the internal selection vote.
The 53-year-old has been a member of the SNP for 36 years. He is now suspended awaiting an investigation but Doig has said that he will stand as an independent next year.
The private e-mail from Doig was leaked to SNP HQ by an SNP employee.
It was a spoof press release that was sent to two friends with no intentions of it being released publicly.