A TORY Westminster candidate has called for Scotland to leave the Union.

In 2014, Ryan Henson, who was selected last year as the party’s candidate in the marginal Bedford and Kempston, wrote an article for Conservative Home, where he claimed that “Scotland’s single biggest offering to the union over the past 50 years has been to provide the Labour party with parliamentary lobby fodder."

“In exchange, the people of England have seen their prescriptions and their university fees go up, while in Scotland both have been abolished – using English taxes to pay for it.”

He added: “Like a marauding tribe from the Dark Ages, Scottish Labour MPs have travelled south every four years to pillage their hard-working, wealthier and more politically sound neighbours. Enough is enough.”

“Scotland faces economic ruin,” he added, “should it continue with its socialist policies after losing the power to fleece the Conservative-voting English taxpayers. It is we English who bankroll her free health prescriptions; fund the entirety of her children’s four-year-long university courses; and subsidise her bloated, private-enterprise-killing, left-leaning public sector.”

He also said that, after Scottish independence, the English economy would thrive and that the English should say “what everyone’s really thinking: Scotland, it’s time for you to go”.

Speaking to the Guardian, Henson said the article had been satirical. “This was intended as a light hearted take on the Scottish Referendum campaign, and was taken as such at the time. It does not reflect my views – I passionately believe in the importance of the Union especially at this time.”

SNP MP Pete Wishart said the comments were “typical of the contempt for Scotland that is increasingly in the mainstream of the Tory party – right up to, and including, the prime minister”.

He added:“Indeed, a recent poll found that – far from being the party of the union – most Tory members would now be happy for Scotland to become independent if that meant delivering Brexit.

“The Tories under Boris Johnson are completely out of touch with Scotland. No wonder more and more people are concluding that independence is the only way forward.”

Bedford and Kempston is a key target for the Tories, with Labour defending a majority of just 789 votes.