INTERIM Tory leader Carlaw faces being ousted by disgruntled Tories before he’s even been elected, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has claimed.

Earlier this week, Carlaw caught his MSPs on the hop after he reversed the party’s position on supporting a No-Deal Brexit without consulting them.

Yesterday there were reports he was about to be turfed out by backbenchers who wanted to speed up the process of selecting a new leader.

During First Minister’s Question, Carlaw asked Sturgeon why the SNP wouldn’t support Boris Johnson’s new plans which keep Northern Ireland in the single market, but out of the customs union – effectively placing a border down the Irish sea.

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“We are at the eleventh hour, there is a need on all sides to compromise if we are going to reach a negotiated settlement,” Carlaw said.

“Yet the record of this SNP Government has been to fail to do so.

“The First Minister repeatedly says she will do anything possible to stop No Deal but despite three opportunities so far this year, her MPs haven’t ever voted for a deal.

“Does she regret not ordering her MPs to vote for a deal when she had the chance?”

Sturgeon said: “My alternative to No Deal is no Brexit, that’s what the people of Scotland voted for.

“All of the efforts I made at compromise to keep us in the single market and the customs union were spurned and cast aside by Theresa May.

“I will not support an option which takes us not just out of the EU, but out of the single market and the customs union.

“But Jackson Carlaw has no credibility on this, or perhaps on anything else after the events of this week.

“He’s gone from being an enthusiastic Remainer to a Boris Johnson-loving No-Deal Brexiteer in what seems like a heartbeat.”

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Sturgeon added: “He has completely abandoned the interests of the Scottish people – shame on him for that. No wonder his colleagues now want to get rid of him.

“I have to say, I thought Labour were the masters of getting rid of leaders, but at least they wait until the leader’s elected before they try to oust them.

“Jackson Carlaw’s about to be ousted before he’s even elected.”

Carlaw responded: “The real shame is a First Minister who is prepared to conspire to make Jeremy Corbyn prime minister of this country. And typically, the First Minister confirms that there has never been a referendum this century the result of which she’s prepared to accept, support or implement – that’s not democracy.”

According to a report in the Times, the Holyrood Tories will gather in North Queensferry on Monday to discuss the process for selecting a new leader.

In the immediate aftermath of Ruth Davidson’s shock resignation there had been agreement that her deputy take the reins of the group until Britain left the European Union and beyond a snap General Election, which, at the time, was expected in October.

But some Tory MSPs believe that there will now not be an election until spring, and that the party should move quickly and install a permanent leader.

“Obviously Jackson is keen to stay on for as long as possible,” a source told the paper.

“On the other side interim leadership doesn’t provide the stability that we require. There are too many things going on.

“This is less about Jackson and more about the fact he is an interim leader and we are now dealing with and deciding on key policies so we need someone with a mandate.”

Another source said Carlaw’s departure day would probably lead to “fireworks”.