THE Church of Scotland has hit back at a Conservative MSP who told the Kirk to stay out of politics.

Earlier this week Murdo Fraser took to social media to criticise the church for calling on the UK Government “not to withdraw from the EU without a comprehensive agreement in place”.

In the statement, Rev Dr Richard Frazer,who is the convenor of the Church and Society Council, called on Westminster and the UK Government to “look beyond party politics and maintaining or gaining power and focus first and foremost on the good of the country and everyone who lives here”.

He added: “We must avoid leaving the EU without a deal; to do so represents a loss of good faith with our closest neighbours on which we depend for our common good.”

Taking to Twitter, Fraser, pictured above, said he found it odd that the Kirk commented on Brexit, but not on independence.

“While I personally agree with this stance, I’m not sure I understand why⁦@churchscotland⁩ can pronounce so clearly on this issue but had NOTHING to say on Scottish independence. Perhaps the Church should just stay out of these political issues?”

READ MORE: Joanna Cherry destroys Murdo Fraser over indyref2 poll tweet

The National:

Murdo Fraser once again caused controversy

Responding to Fraser’s tweet, Dr Frazer said the church’s policy on Europe had been arrived at in 1996 after debate at the General Assembly.

He added: “The church has never had a settled policy for or against Scottish independence, though it supported the establishment of a Scottish Parliament and was represented on the Scottish Constitutional Convention that paved the way for it.

“For many years the Church of Scotland has taken the view that the European project of closer co-operation, arising as it did out of two major wars in the 20th century and preceding centuries of conflict was a move towards ending this antagonism and promoting greater cohesion and social justice.”

Responding to Fraser, Dave Thomson, the convenor of Christians for Independence, and an elder in the Kirk, said the Tory needed to remember the Gospel of Matthew.

“I’d be very surprised if the church didn’t have a view on something like Brexit which is going to be so damaging to many people.

Hea added: “It’s very clear that a no-deal Brexit, which is what Rev Frazer was commenting on, will harm those at the lower end of society. It will make their lives much tougher. The church is here to help people.”