THE SNP said they have sent Energy Minister Andrew Bowie a spine – as he’s urged to stand up to the UK Government’s plan to extend the windfall tax on oil and gas giants.

In the immediate aftermath of the Chancellor’s announcement he would further raid record profits from energy companies to fund tax cuts, Bowie said he backed Douglas Ross’s (below) concerns about the policy.

The National: Douglas Ross

But later on Wednesday evening, Bowie tweeted: “I've spoken to the Chancellor. He understands the importance of the [Energy Profits Levy] issue in the north east.

“The fact is only the Conservatives support our oil and gas sector. That's why, for example, we are alone in retaining the capital gains allowances. So now we need [to] get on and deliver.”

READ MORE: 'Scottish oil and gas' are big losers in Spring Budget, Tory Chancellor says

The SNP have urged Bowie to follow Ross’s lead and defy the party leadership when the extension is put to a vote.

Bowie was told it was time he “finally found a backbone” – and the SNP said they had delivered a model spine to his office.

The SNP are opposed to both Labour and the Tories’ windfall tax on oil and gas giants, saying the money raised would be spent in the wrong places.

The Tories extended the tax to part fund a 2% cut in National Insurance while Labour previously said they wanted to use the money to pay for new nuclear power stations in England.

It comes after Chancellor Jeremy Hunt twisted the knife in his Scottish colleagues by saying on Thursday morning that North Sea energy firms – which employ thousands in the north east of Scotland – were among the biggest "losers” from his Spring Budget.  

The National: Housing Minister Kevin Stewart

Kevin Stewart (above), the SNP MSP for Aberdeen Central, said: “Yet again, the Tories have shafted Scotland – taking our energy wealth to fund spending in Westminster and putting Scottish jobs and investment at risk in the process.

“The Chancellor has humiliated Tory MPs in Scotland by completely ignoring them on the damaging consequences of this policy – and admitting Scotland's energy sector is the 'biggest loser' from the UK Budget.

“It’s time Andrew Bowie, and his spineless Tory colleagues, finally found a backbone and voted against their own government in the interests of people in Scotland.

“Unlike the Tories, the SNP will always stand up for Scotland’s interests and demand the best deal for Scotland. It shows why it’s essential to vote SNP at the general election to ensure Scotland has a strong voice to defend Scottish jobs and investment.”

Bowie was approached for comment.