Douglas Ross has risked a head-on clash with Downing Street by suggesting Gavin Williamson should step down following the A-level fiasco in England.
The Scottish Tory leader plunged the party into a cross-border war of words after urging the embattled education secretary to “reflect on what happened” and refused to back him staying in his job.
His comments came after Mr Williamson apologised to thousands of pupils and parents across England after abandoning a computer marking system that plunged A-Level results in chaos.
Mr Ross, who had called for John Swinney to lose his job after the exams U-turn north of the border, suggested Mr Williamson should have taken action quicker once the problems in Scotland became apparent.
“I think Gavin Williamson and the government and the Department for Education will be reflecting on why did they not see the problem that the SNP had to deal with as a result of their actions in Scotland,” he told BBC Radio Scotland.
Asked whether Mr Williamson should quit, the Moray MP said: “That is a decision for Gavin Williamson. It’s a decision for the prime minister, if he continues to have the trust of the prime minister.
“I’m not here to say in your report that I think Gavin Williamson has done a great job and he should continue.
“I think he has to reflect on what happened to so many pupils in England, students who were concerned for four days, because we had the exact same up here in Scotland for a week.”
Mr Ross took the reins of the party north of the border after spectacularly resigning himself from a junior ministerial role in protest over the Dominic Cummings lockdown saga in May.
Downing Street did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but the outspoken remarks are likely to antagonise an already under fire Number 10.