SNP MPs have written to the UK Government to convey the “disappointment and anger” being felt across the north east of Scotland after the Tories rolled back on a pledge to have hundreds of civil servants relocated to Aberdeen.

Just 35 roles will be moved to the city by 2027, it emerged last week, which falls well short of what initial media reports suggested.

The UK Government announced plans in December last year to establish a second Department for Energy Security and Net Zero headquarters in the north east.

The prospect of hundreds of civil servants moving to Aberdeen was praised by Scottish Tory minister Andrew Bowie, who claimed a "second headquarters in Aberdeen will put the UK Government on the doorstep of key players in the energy sector, in a region vital for our energy security and transition to net zero".

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Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said the move demonstrated the UK Government’s commitment to the north east of Scotland.

But First Minister Humza Yousaf said that the latest move represents another "Westminster betrayal of the north east".

Now a group of four SNP MPs – Westminster group leader Stephen Flynn, Kirsty Blackman, Richard Thomson and Dave Doogan - have expressed their annoyance in a letter to the department and have urged the UK Government to explain if the decision was due to “bad faith, incompetence, a change in policy or some combination of the three”.

The letter states: "We write to convey the disappointment and anger being felt across north east Scotland at the decision to relocate only 35 DESNZ civil service jobs to Aberdeen, rather than the ‘hundreds’ that your government took great care to brief would be the case.

"Last December, the Minister for the Cabinet Office was quoted stating "we are now going to have this second headquarters where hundreds more will come to work and live in the city”, while the Secretary of State for Scotland claimed that the scale of the move demonstrated the Government’s commitment to “the north east of Scotland and to our oil and gas and renewables sectors”.

“It is clear that neither of these statements now passes scrutiny.

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“Taken alongside the shortfall in ‘Levelling Up’ awards; the glacial progress since 2014 in delivering the ‘Acorn’ project and the savage cuts made by HM Treasury to the Scottish Government’s capital budget, this is simply the latest in a long line of UK Government betrayals of the north east of Scotland.

“It provides further evidence - as if any were needed - of the chasm between what your party in government says it will do for the north east of Scotland and its key industries, and what little it delivers in reality.

“We look forward to receiving your explanation as to why your Government is failing to deliver on the expectations that it took such care to stoke at the time.”

While the initial UK Government announcement did not specify the number of additional DESNZ roles set to be based in Aberdeen, the Financial Times reported a figure of 200 according to “people familiar with the plan”.

A Department for Energy Security and Net Zero spokesperson said: “Hosting our second headquarters in Aberdeen underlines the importance of North East Scotland in our net zero transition.

“While we never committed to a specific number of roles in the city, the headquarters already has over 100 staff, and our ambition is to increase this by a third by March 2027.

“An Aberdeen base puts those working in the department closer to those working in the crucial oil gas and renewables industries – both the companies and the tens of thousands of their workers who play a vital role in our energy supply."