An Aberdeen MP has accused a UK Treasury minister of “glib point-scoring” for responding to a question on oil and gas with a “pathetic line” about Scottish independence.
Kirsty Blackman has written to David Gauke to raise the exchange, which came during Scottish Questions in the Commons earlier this week.
The SNP MP, who represents Aberdeen North, challenged him to provide a “more appropriate and comprehensive” response.
She said: “I asked Mr Gauke a very serious question about the support the Treasury was providing the oil and gas sector through the current crisis.
“Instead of him answering the question he fell back on a pathetic line about Scottish independence which had no relevance to the issue he was asked about.
“People are losing jobs and the future prosperity of our city is at risk, but instead of working to help the industry Mr Gauke spends his time thinking up formulaic lines about independence.
“We need a treasury that actually cares about the jobs and livelihoods of Aberdonians especially after all that they have provided to the Treasury over the years.
“It is unacceptable for government ministers to fail to engage on a topic as key as this.”
In her letter, she added: “My question was reasonable and serious and one that my constituents and the oil and gas sector as a whole would want answered fully, respectfully and without glib point scoring.”
In the chamber on Wednesday, Mrs Blackman asked Mr Gauke: “Will you and your front-bench colleagues commit to taking action to ensure that companies in the oil and gas sector have appropriate access to finance at this time?”
He replied: “The Government do all they can to support businesses the length and breadth of the UK in all sectors.
“My point is that we are able to take action and support the oil and gas sector because we are the UK.
“Had Scotland become independent, it would be facing a very substantial loss of revenue and have great difficulties absorbing that.”