Nicola Sturgeon has been challenged to explain why she has backed a party that wants to see an end to the oil industry.
In the run-up to the budget, the first minister constantly called for changes to the North Sea fiscal regime in order to protect the oil and gas industry – and jobs – from the impact of falling oil prices.
During a speech at the London School of Economic earlier this week she encouraged English voters to back the Greens, a party which dismissed George Osborne’s £1.3billion package of support for the North Sea as “huge tax breaks for the fossil fuel dinosaurs”.
When asked to explain her apparent contrary behaviour, Ms Sturgeon declared “dearie, dearie me” and as a Scot she would vote SNP.
During first minister’s questions, Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson said: “When she’s in Scotland Nicola Sturgeon has just said that she calls on London to deliver tax breaks to keep the drilling going.
“But when she’s in London she urges people to vote for a party that says that we should stop the drilling altogether and give hundreds of thousands of North Sea oil workers the sack.
“What kind of politics is that? What kind of judgement is that?”
“Can I ask why a first minister of Scotland is telling people in England to vote for a party that would kill Scotland’s oil industry?”
Ms Sturgeon responded: “Dearie, dearie me. Just for the benefit of Ruth Davidson and indeed for anybody else across this chamber I’m Nicola Sturgeon, I live in Scotland, I’m voting SNP and I encourage everybody else to vote SNP as well.
“And I hope for the benefit of everybody in Scotland nobody in England votes Tory, because the Tories are imposing austerity cuts in Scotland and the sooner we get rid of them the better.”