Former first minister and newly-elected MP Alex Salmond has sensationally called for the Scotland Office to be scrapped.
Writing exclusively for The Courier, Mr Salmond warned Prime Minister David Cameron against appointing David Mundell the only Conservative MP north of the border to the role of Scottish Secretary.
“If Cameron sticks to rota then he has only one choice available (for Scottish secretary) after all there is only one Tory MP left in Scotland,” he wrote.
“That is David Mundell, affectionately nicknamed “fluffy” by his own colleagues.I have a much better idea for the Prime Minister,” Salmond continued.
“Abolish the Scotland Office altogether and demonstrate some understanding of the fundamental change that has taken place in Scotland.”
Mr Salmond went on to claim that any appointment of a Scottish Secretary would be an “insult to the country” and “embarrassing” for Mr Mundell.
“Cameron declared after the election that he would respect the Scottish Government,” Mr Salmond continued.
“Here is a way to start.Abolish this apology for a department, save £7 million a year of Scottish money and start to show some degree of respect to the democratic choice of the Scottish people.”
It is understood the new Conservative government is planning a major shake-up of the Scotland Office and may be open to proposals for more devolution.
Speaking to the Scotland on Sunday newspaper, one senior source within the party reportedly said that the Prime Minister returned to power with a slim majority in last week’s general election “understands the need for a change of approach to Scotland”.
The source said: “It is up to the SNP to say whether they will put down an amendment for full fiscal autonomy to the new Scotland Act but it is possible that we could start giving them what they ask for and then see if they can handle it.”
When contacted by The Courier, a spokeswoman for the Scottish Conservatives responded angrily to Mr Salmond’s demands.
“We, unlike Alex Salmond, want to form a constructive and respectful relationship between the Scottish Government and Westminster,” she said.
“It’s unfortunate that Alex Salmond has struck this tone, so early on into building that relationship.”Read more from Alex Salmond in his Monday Courier column