The National:

THE Scottish Tories have been kicking up a fuss about the First Minister going abroad to promote Scotland – but somehow, they've managed to sink lower in that effort.

Kirstene Hair, the MP who didn’t vote in the Brexit referendum because she didn’t know which side to back, took to the House of Commons to criticise Nicola Sturgeon.

She tweeted a clip of a question she asked, writing: “If the First Minister wants to boost Scottish business, she should stop prancing around the world flogging independence and focus on reversing the damage her government is doing to Scotland's economy.”

In the video, she continues: “On the First Minister’s recent trip to Canada it was reported that she didn’t mention Scotland’s proudest export – Scotch whisky – once.”

You won’t be surprised to hear this is almost certainly nonsense.

The idea that the First Minister won’t have mentioned Scotch whisky once is quite remarkable ... though with sales booming perhaps it didn’t need much help?

Hair’s claim becomes somewhat more ridiculous, however, when you remember that Sturgeon spent her fourth day in North America opening a Scottish Government office in Ottawa with a showcase of Scottish food and drink.

Could Hair maybe clarify for us which part of showcasing Scottish food and drink is “prancing around the world flogging independence”? 

That said, it’s quite good for Scotch whisky that the First Minister is “flogging independence”. It’s our only escape from Brexit, and with the UK using Scotch as a bargaining chip in negotiations with the EU, risking its valuable geographical indicator status, there’s a real danger for the export after we leave Europe.

With all this said, we’d suggest it would take quite a heroic effort not to mention whisky once at an event celebrating Scottish drink.

It can't be easy for the First Minister. One day the Tories are telling her to do the day job, the next they're telling her she's not allowed to travel abroad to promote Scotland, as the day job requires.

Also, don’t be confused by the caption on the video saying this was asked at Prime Minister’s Questions but it being answered by Mel Stride MP, financial secretary to the treasury.

Theresa May has not lost her position quite yet – this was actually asked at Scotland Questions, in which Stride supported Mundell.

Facts can be hard for the Scottish Tories…