Liberal Democrat boss Ed Davey has backed calls for Jo Swinson to return to frontline politics.
The former UK party leader, who lost her East Dunbartonshire Westminster seat at last year’s general election, is understood to be “seriously considering” a run at Holyrood in 2021.
Mr Davey, who took the reins of the party as acting leader in December, said Ms Swinson would make a “great” addition to the Scottish Parliament.
He told us: “Jo’s been an amazing servant of the Liberal Democrats and a great public servant.
“Getting her back into frontline politics would be great news for the Lib Dems, great news for people in Scotland and the UK.”
Mr Davey, speaking ahead of what was supposed to be the Lib Dems’ spring conference in York this weekend before the coronavirus outbreak, also took aim at the SNP.
The former energy minister said: “The tumbling oil prices show the the whole case for independence is built on sand.
“They’ve argued for independence for decades and never answered the most basic questions about how they will protect Scotland’s economy and public services.”
Mr Davey went on to criticise the political row between Edinburgh and London over the Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow.
It was claimed the UK government threatened to move the event after discovering the Scottish government had already booked a key venue.
The row escalated when it was reported Boris Johnson had called Nicola Sturgeon “that bloody Wee Jimmy Krankie woman” during a heated meeting about the summit in.
Mr Davey was unimpressed with the back and forth and called on both leaders to “grow up”.
He said: “I have led the UK delegation to three COPs, more than any MP in this house. I have been involved in a lot of climate diplomacy.
“If the host country is not getting a grip, there are problems. These are the most important talks, more important than Brexit.
“They are happening in Glasgow, months away, and we have Downing Street and Bute House at loggerheads.
“One wants to say to Sturgeon and Johnson ‘grow up. This is a climate emergency – your egos are not what’s at stake’.
“I am deeply disappointed. I don’t expect to be anything other than disappointed by Boris Johnson.
“Sturgeon claims to care about it, but she’s letting us down on the biggest issue of the moment and she’s not doing what I think is necessary on Cop26.”
An SNP spokesperson said: “These comments are utterly crass, ill-judged and inappropriate.
“At a time when Scotland, the UK and the rest of the world is busy combatting a global public health emergency, the Lib Dems see it as an opportunity to make cheap and ignorant political jibes. Ed Davey should apologise.”