A furious bust up between the Scottish Tory leader and a senior SNP MP almost derailed a House of Commons committee, we can reveal.
Moray MP Douglas Ross was said to have angrily remonstrated with Pete Wishart over comments he made before the summer break in an interview with us, delaying the Scottish affairs committee’s hearing by several minutes.
Mr Wishart, who chairs the committee, suggested in the interview that ministers should be given a crash course in devolution to avoid a repeat of the “confusion and frustration” caused by mixed messaging during the pandemic.
The Scottish Tory leader was unhappy that the comments had been made on the same day the Scottish affairs committee, of which he is a member, published its interim report into “intergovernmental working” during the Covid crisis.
I will always put forward my opinions in the strongest possible way while being respectful.”
A source, who heard the back and forth, likened the two men to “spoiled children” arguing.
They said: “They were behaving like spoiled children. They were in a private meeting, not the chamber, so why the need for grandstanding?
“It showed a complete neglect for the impact on staff trying to support the vital work of the committee.
“Sadly, it was a nasty episode that saw them fall a long way short of what the public would expect.”
Mr Wishart said it would not be appropriate to comment as the committee was at that stage still in private session.
Mr Ross said: “The private part of the meeting is where members can discuss a range of issues.
“I will always put forward my opinions in the strongest possible way while being respectful; someone’s trying to make a mountain out of a molehill here.”