THE SNP has slammed a Scottish Tory MP's claims that Rishi Sunak will “circumvent Holyrood” to implement key policies.

MP for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine Andrew Bowie wrote in The Times that the Tory party “cannot trust the SNP to act in the best interests of the Scottish people”, while also claiming Whitehall has a “devolve and forget” mentality which causes “easy, lazy governing that says Scotland? Pass it to Holyrood”.

Bowie has also said that Sunak played a key role in levelling-up funds bypassing the Scottish Parliament on their way to local councils and that he “ensured that the SNP agreed to freeports coming to Scotland”.

The allocation of levelling-up funds in Scotland has become a controversial issue as it has sparked criticism that the scheme is being used to undermine devolution.

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Slating Bowie for his claims, SNP MSP Gillian Martin said: “These comments are insulting and lay bare the real and undeniable threat that the Tories pose towards the very future of our democratically elected Scottish Parliament.

“Andrew Bowie seems to have conveniently forgotten Rishi Sunak’s plan to turn off furlough while covid restrictions were still required in Scotland, and only agreeing to extend it when England had to keep restrictions in place.”

Martin went on to claim that the UK Treasury tried to block Green ports from requiring the living wage or meeting net zero criteria and that “Sunak has failed to deliver on key pledges to maintain levels of EU funding".

She also alleged that "Scotland – like Wales - has been massively short-changed under the levelling-up fund”.

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She added: “By undermining devolution the Tories are burying the idea of the UK as a partnership of equal nations and trying to take control away from the people of Scotland, and into the hands of Westminster Tories they didn’t vote for.

"The Tories’ utter disdain for devolution has always been clear – but their attempts to bypass devolution, ignore the devolved governments, and dictate funding over devolved areas will not stand. The only way to safeguard our democracy – and to protect Scotland from the Tories - is by becoming an independent country.”

Andrew Bowie has been contacted for comment.