SKY News presenter Adam Boulton has triggered outrage after suggesting Scotland would have “gone bust” were it not for the Union.

The broadcaster’s editor at large was condemned for his “foolish” comment by SNP politicians.

The dispute arose after a person on social media, citing excess deaths during the coronavirus crisis, posted: “Imagine what Scotland could have done if it weren’t shackled to England.”

Boulton replied: “Gone bust?”

READ MORE: Sky News presenter Adam Boulton forced to make correction over SNP

He was rebuked by SNP MP Philippa Whitford and MSP Paul Wheelhouse.

Whitford questioned the Sky News host’s objectivity, asking: “So, Adam, do you think your question mark makes this ‘impartial’?”

Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse added: “What a foolish thing to say. Do you realise that the UK’s covid response to the economic crisis is smaller than most of our neighbours, despite a deeper shock. Germany, France, Ireland, Norway all pumping greater fiscal responses in. If independent, [Scotland] could have done likewise.”

The presenter was also challenged by Twitter user Adrian Coll, who denounced the “ill-informed jibe”.

He posted: “Adam you’re in a very prominent position and millions of Scots like me pay a lot of money to watch. The majority of Scots are for independence now. Making cheap ill informed jibes like this is beneath u. What is it that makes Scotland SO different from every other country in world?”

Boulton justified his claim by referencing the Darien Scheme – a disastrous attempt to establish a Scottish colony in Panama in the late 17th century.

READ MORE: The Darien Scheme: 330 years since the farce that shaped Scotland

Between a quarter and a third of all the country’s capital was invested in the scheme after King William and the English parliament forced investors from England and Holland to pull out.

Many of the Scottish investors recovered their losses when they were effectively bribed to support the Act of Union of 1707, though the impetus for the Union was already in existence before the scheme’s failure.