THE new Scottish Secretary has been accused of aiding a Tory “power-grab” after saying the UK Government wants more of say in how money replacing EU funds will be spent in Scotland.

Alister Jack said the Shared Prosperity Fund, being set up for initiatives which currently receive EU structural funding, will also brand projects it pays for with the Union flag.

Currently the Scottish Government has responsibility for the funding aimed at cutting disparity between EU regions is spent in Scotland, with the EU and UK agreeing on the direction of programmes.

But Jack, MP for Dumfries and Galloway, said: “We will be wanting to agree spending proposals and have more direct investment into Scotland.”

SNP Scotland Office spokesman Tommy Sheppard, said the call to bypass the Scottish Parliament and Government “rips up the established principles underpinning devolution”.

He said: “Alister Jack has been Secretary of State for Scotland for only 11 days and already he is actively sidelining the country he is supposed to stand up for by aiding and abetting renewed attempts at a blatant Tory power grab – undermining the very foundations of devolution.

“Funding in devolved areas must be accountable to our democratically elected Parliament – not controlled by a detached and dysfunctional Tory government in Westminster.”

The UK Government has been allocated £17.2 billion of EU structural investment between 2014 and 2020, which ministers have guaranteed to deliver post-Brexit.

However details of the Shared Prosperity Fund, which is designed to deliver it, have not been finalised.

A consultation on the fund, which was promised last year, has yet to be announced. In a joint letter to Boris Johnson on issues around Brexit last month, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford highlighted concerns about the lack of “any meaningful engagement” on what a proposal for a UK-wide Shared Prosperity Fund might look like.

The letter said: “The establishment of successor arrangements for EU funding must be based on genu - ine engagement and fully respect the devolution settlements. It would be unacceptable if the UK Government made unilateral decisions on spend - ing in areas currently the responsibility of the devolved administrations, accountable to our respective legislatures and electorates.”

Sheppard added: “When it comes to the so-called Shared Prosperity Fund, the Tories are able to tell us which flags will be used but refuse to confirm that Scotland’s future funding will be guaranteed and that the UK Government will not grab powers that are currently the responsibility of the Scottish Government.

‘‘Rather than standing up for Scotland, the contingent of Scottish Tory MPs, including the Scottish Secretary, are instead enabling a Boris Johnson Government to push ahead with a Tory power grab that side-lines Scotland’s people and Parliament and puts Tory interests first.”

Jack made his comments in his first newspaper interview since he was appointed Scottish Secretary, which was published by the Scottish Daily Express yesterday.

He claimed the UK Government’s involvement would be a “collaboration”, rather than leaving the Scottish Government to “get on with it”.

He said: “It’s branding the spending of that money – rather than with the EU flag and a saltire, we will have the Union flag and a saltire.

“It’s just important that the people see the benefits from being part of the great enduring partnership that is the UK.”

“We need not have inevitable tensions when we are putting money into the Scottish economy for the good of Scots.”