SCOTTISH Tory leader Douglas Ross has been told to “show leadership” over his branch office’s “shameful” silence after Liz Truss claimed she would “ignore attention seeking” First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

The Tory leadership hopeful made the comments on Monday night during a hustings event in Exeter but has since backtracked after it sparked fury across the political spectrum.

Yet Truss’s Scottish Tory colleagues have remained mostly mute on the issue – with only two MSPs backing her statement, three vaguely indicating support on social media, one calling the comments “ill-advised” and the remaining 25, both MSPs and MPs, have stayed quiet.

The National put this to the Scottish Conservatives, asking if they agree or disagree with Truss’s comments and if party leader Douglas Ross would condemn them. We did not receive a reply by the time of publication.

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The SNP called on Ross to “show leadership” and condemn Truss’s remarks, while the Scottish Greens said the Tories silence was “telling”, adding the party does not respect “democracy or devolution”.

Karen Adam, SNP MSP for Banffshire and Buchan Coast, said that the Truss pushing to ignore the democratically elected FM should be “deeply alarming to the reasonable person”.

She added: “Branding the First Minister as ‘attention seeking’ when she has consistently called on the UK to do better by Scotland only further showcases the disdain they have for Scotland. This attitude doesn’t stop at our First Minister. It’s our voices that are irritating them. They want Scotland to shut up and go away.

“The eyes of the country are now on politicians who value democracy among the Conservative ranks to condemn the remarks of Truss. The silence from Scottish Conservatives has been particularly concerning.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to urge Douglas Ross, the leader of the Scottish Conservatives, to display leadership and condemn the remarks of Truss which only seek to undermine our democratic institutions in Scotland.”

Scottish Greens co-leader Lorna Slater told The National: “The Scottish Tories silence on Liz Truss’s disrespect for Scotland’s democratically elected, and longest standing First Minister, is just as telling and as shameful as the loud whoops and cheers from the Tory Party members.

“The Conservative Party has shown that it has no respect for democracy, devolution, our Parliament, or the people of Scotland. Far from being a union of equals, this is further evidence that within the UK, Scotland’s democracy and powers will continue to be undermined and disrespected.”

On Monday, Truss told Tory members she believed Sturgeon was an “attention seeker”, adding: “I think the best thing to do with Nicola Sturgeon is ignore her.”

Tory MSPs Murdo Fraser and Stephen Kerr, who have both publicly backed Truss for leader, defended the statement.

Fraser claimed that Truss was more “in tune” with the Scottish electorate than the FM, while Kerr doubled down and said the next PM should “ignore her attention seeking indyref2 blethering”. Annie Wells, Glasgow regional MSP, retweeted Kerr’s comment while making no public statement of her own – but came out to publicly back Truss yesterday.

READ MORE: Liz Truss team backtracks on Nicola Sturgeon insult after Tory backlash

Alexander Burnett, Scotland’s richest MSP – who has not openly backed a leadership candidate – retweeted a Unionist account criticising “cult SNP TV programme” STV for running a package on the story including a live outside Bute House, vox-pops, and an interview with SNP MP Jon Nicolson. Burnett also liked a tweet that told SNP MSP Adam, who criticised Truss’s comments, to “weep somewhere else”.

Douglas Lumsden, who is backing Truss, retweeted Aberdeen City Tory councillor Iain Gall, who wrote: “Liz Truss is right saying @NicolaSturgeon should be ignored. After all, the dear leader continues to ignore the democratic will of 2,001,926 Scots.”

The remaining 24 Tory MSPs, five MPs, and leader Ross have remained silent on the issue.

Only one Tory MSP, Maurice Golden, said the comments were ill-advised, but added: “While undoubtedly Nicola Sturgeon is an attention seeker, she should be ignored at our peril because we need to be making the positive case for the Union, we need to be ensuring that we have sound economic policy, and ignoring Nicola Sturgeon is undoubtedly the wrong thing to do.”