First Minister Nicola Sturgeon accused Scotland’s 13 Tory MPs of being “lobby fodder” for Boris Johnson.
Ms Sturgeon spoke exclusively with The Courier during a campaign visit in Arbroath, where she claimed the “block” of Scottish Tory MPs were only too willing to ask “how high?” when told to “jump by Boris Johnson”.
Hundreds of supporters turned out in support of the SNP leader, who spoke to voters with Angus candidate David Doogan.
The constituency was won by Conservative candidate Kirstene Hair at the election in 2017, alongside 11 other Tory members, which the First Minster admitted had been somewhat of a “shock”.
Ms Hair took more than 45% of the vote share in 2017 with a majority of 2,645. Almost 45% of the constituency voted in favour of leaving the EU in 2016.
Ms Sturgeon said the party would not take Angus for granted, believing that even those in the constituency who voted to leave and voted conservative would not “recognise” what he party had become.
“I remember the day after the election the talk of how this block of Scottish Tory MPs would really stand up for Scotland and hold the balance of power, but they have done no such thing,” she said.
“They have become, effectively, lobby fodder for Theresa May and Boris Johnson.
“Scotland voted to remain in the EU, and yes I know some people voted to leave, but I don’t think anyone is comfortable with the version of Brexit and the complete mess the Tories have made of it.
“Boris Johnson says jump and the Scottish Tory MPs say “how high?”
“We now have a Scottish Tory party in a country that voted overwhelmingly to remain who don’t just support Brexit, but support being out of the single market, the customs union and leave without a deal.
“That’s not standing up for Scotland. The economic analysis shows it would damage the whole of the UK, but the North East of Scotland is the part which will be damaged most by Brexit. And you have Tory MPs who just say “well, fair enough, that’s what Boris Johnson has told us to do.”
“I don’t think that’s what the people of Angus would have expected when they voted Tory at the last election and they have an opportunity at this election to get an MP back who will stand up and be counted for them.”
A Scottish Conservative spokesman said: “Kirstene and her Scottish MP colleagues have given voice to their constituents at the heart of the UK Government.
“Meanwhile, in the last week alone, the SNP have been caught out on unemployment and covering up failures in the health service.
“Kirstene has done more in two years for Angus than its last SNP MP achieved in 16.
“Nicola Sturgeon speaks of yes men – while none of her MPs have ever dared to vote against her diktats.”