A TORY MSP clashed with Nicola Sturgeon over a funding application for the redevelopment of Aberdeen Art Gallery.

Tom Mason, who is also a councillor in the city’s ruling Tory-Labour administration, claimed the Scottish Government had refused to pay for any of the work on the building, despite spending millions on new V&A in Dundee.

The First Minister said the council hadn’t actually asked for any money.

Mason told MSPs at First Minister’s Questions: “When Aberdeen City Council applied for funding for the new art gallery which opens tonight ... that application was turned down.”

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He urged the First Minister to “look again at this decision” and to “make sure Aberdeen gets its fair share”. The MSP echoed comments made by councillors at a reception in Aberdeen yesterday.

Tory Douglas Lumsden told guests at the event: “The Scottish Government has not contributed a single penny towards Aberdeen Art Gallery, while the V&A got more than £40 million.

“I think it is shameful. Funding has been requested but has been turned down.”

Marie Boulton, the independent who is the city’s culture spokeswoman, suggested Aberdeen had been spurned because it voted No in 2014.

Replying to Mason, Sturgeon said: “Let me just set the record straight on this. During the planning or business case phase stages of this, no application was made by Aberdeen City Council to the Scottish Government, Historic Environment Scotland or Creative Scotland.

“Aberdeen City Council did discuss funding with Historic Environment Scotland in 2016 after project works had already begun but chose not to pursue an application.

“It’s a bit rich to criticise the Scottish Government for not giving funding when the council in question never asked us for any.”

A council spokeswoman said the local authority had made “various approaches” to the Scottish Government in relation to funding for the project.