Scotland’s Finance Secretary Derek Mackay has compared Westminster to the dark side in Star Wars.
The fan of the sci-fi franchise made the comment as he spoke of greater divergence between the Scottish and UK governments.
He referenced Scotland’s “progressive values” and said it is “charting quite a different course” to the rest of the UK.
He told Holyrood Magazine: “I mean, what did the United Nations say about the UK Government and their pernicious welfare policies?
“That they were cruel and driven by ideology not financial necessity, in terms of ongoing austerity.
“So we are choosing investment in our people, a social contract and divergence, compared to the cruelty of the austere fiscal regime that the UK Government is wedded to.
“They throw into the bargain a dislike of immigrants as well. Yes, we are diverging.
“I would say the force is strong with Scotland, yes and the dark side is in Westminster.”
Mr Mackay is also said to have made a tongue-in-cheek comparison between an unnamed civil servant and Star Wars robot C3PO.
The finance secretary faces a battle to get his draft budget through the Scottish Parliament but told the magazine he has had “constructive engagement” with the Scottish Green Party, a key ally previously.