BOSSES at Highland Spring have tried to pour cold water on a row over Scottish independence.

Over the weekend the bottled mineral water firm’s chief executive Les Montgomery claimed businesses in Scotland were “fed up” with talk of independence.

He told the Press Association: “Businesses are fed up. The Scottish Government should be getting on with the job they are there to do. Focusing on employment, investment, those kinds of things.”

Independence isn’t the job that the Scottish Government is supposed to be doing.”

The remarks annoyed Yes supporters, and sparked calls for boycotts.

Singer Eddi Reader tweeted: “That’s highland spring OFF my touring rider“.

In a statement supplied to business magazine Insider on Tuesday, a company spokesman said: “The comments being referred to came from a recent business news story which focuses on the importance of maintaining a ‘business as usual’ stance in light of recent political activity across the UK.

“The statements made did not mention indyref2 and were not intended to offer an opinion on whether Scotland should or shouldn’t remain a part of the UK”

The spokesman then confirmed the Scottish Government had been in touch in the wake of the furore, which led to opposition parties accusing the SNP of bullying the company into submission.

A Labour spokesman said: “During the independence referendum we saw serious allegations of intimidation of business levelled at the SNP government. It was completely unacceptable then and would be unacceptable now.”

In a further statement, released yesterday, Montgomery then clarified to say that he and his business had not been bullied, saying his explanation was “categorically not as the result of any influence from, or conversations with, the Scottish Government”.