THERESA May wants Nicola Sturgeon to know her place, with Tory sources claiming the Prime Minister is now too important to meet with the First Minister of Scotland.

Instead, the SNP leader will only be allowed to meet with David Mundell, the Secretary of State for Scotland, because Tory minsters believe “he is the same level as her”.

The news prompted a furious reaction from SNP politicians and supporters.

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One MSP compared Mundell to a British Empire-style governor in charge of keeping the natives in line.

A Tory minister quoted in a newspaper report yesterday signalled the end of the one-to-one meetings between the two party leaders.

The “First Minister will no longer get access to the Prime Minister. She should be meeting David Mundell because he is the same level as her,” the source said.

Reportedly, the Tories believe May coming to Scotland and making her first meeting as prime minister with Sturgeon, and posing for photographs on the steps of Bute House, made the Scottish leader “look like an international dignitary, rather than the leader of a devolved nation”.

The remarks will infuriate not just SNP supporters but many in the Scottish Parliament, incensed that Downing Street believe the position of First Minister is equal to that of Secretary of State for Scotland.

As a sop to the Scottish Parliament, the Scottish Government, Sturgeon and her Brexit Minister Michael Russell will also be offered weekly meetings with Mundell and new Scotland Office minister Iain Duncan, the ex-MEP and failed Tory candidate who was made a Lord so the Tories could get him into government.

SNP MSP Tom Arthur took to Twitter to say it was not about the personalities but about the disrespect being shown to the devolved assemblies.

Using the hashtag #Empire2stateofmind, he wrote: “[To be fair] there is precedence for this – the Viceroy of India reported to the Secretary of State for India, not the PM “ He added: “Final observation on the UK Gov’s attempt to downgrade the position of FM: it shows that when the SNP lose seats, Scotland loses influence.”

A Scottish Government source told a newspaper: “Theresa May is a badly weakened PM, but it speaks volumes if she now doesn’t feel confident enough to meet the First Minister.

“And David Mundell’s credibility is in tatters after his failure to stand up for Scotland over the Tories’ grubby deal with the DUP.”

A UK Government spokesman said: “We are absolutely committed to engaging with the Scottish Government and will continue to do so on all levels.

“The level of engagement over recent months has been unprecedented, including numerous meetings and calls between ministers and officials.

“Yesterday’s City Deal is an example of how we will continue to work constructively together.”

May is meeting nobody for the next few weeks.

Despite being in the middle of Brexit negotiations, the Prime Minister will leave the UK next Monday for a three week holiday.