A DIPLOMAT who was sacked by Spain’s acting foreign minister Josep Borrell has accused him

of giving him “unconstitutional orders” during the six months he was consul general to Scotland, Northern Ireland and the north of England.

Miguel Angel Vecino has revealed that Borrell blocked a visit to Holyrood by an all-party delegation from the Catalan parliament to avoid any Catalan presence here in the run-up to the Spanish general election last April.

This was done in a bit to avoid “harming Pedro Sanchez’s government” in the election, a move Vecino described as “at least playing dirty”.

According to the diplomat, Borrell also stopped a visit to Barcelona by members of Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce and an exchange trip to Edinburgh by Catalan businesspeople.

His comments came in documents prepared for Spain’s courts of justice and the board of the diplomatic service, where he is challenging his dismissal.

Vecino was sacked in June over a letter he wrote to the Scottish Government, published by The National, which stated that Spain would not veto a bid by an independence Scotland to join the EU.

He told The National yesterday that he did not want to say any more than had been published by the Spanish digital newspaper Vozpopuli, before the documents were admitted by a judge.

“I prefer not to speak before it has been submitted to the judge at the court of justice,” he said.

“The only thing I can tell you about my dismissal is that everything I did in Scotland I did under an element of control and I did whatever he [Borrell] wanted.

“I did everything, absolutely everything under the instructions and orders received from my ministry.

“I never did one single thing that I was not ordered to do by the ministry, by the cabinet of Mr Borrell.

“Perhaps in a week or a week-and-a-half, the judge will have admitted my papers for my case and from that moment it will be open to the public and from this moment I will be happy to speak.

“In the documents I justify what I did and went to the court of justice because I consider that my dismissal by Mr Borrell was unlawful.

“He accused me of doing things without orders and it’s not true. I did everything under orders and they are all in the papers.

“But I have to wait until the judge has admitted my case.”

Vecino added that he had nothing to hide: “My behaviour when I was consul general for Spain in Edinburgh was absolutely legal, so I have nothing to hide.

“In Vozpopuli’s own news I confirmed my authorship before they posted the news.

“I would like to point out again that it is not a letter, but a private email that I sent exclusively to my representatives and someone improperly distributed, because it was only for use, if my representatives considered it … As for the rest of the news, I have nothing to add for the moment.”

Vozpopuli said that in his letter to the Diplomatic Service board, Vecino said Borrell acted “to prevent the visit of a delegation of all the parties of the Catalan parliament to the Scottish Parliament”, in order to avoid any Catalan presence in Scotland before the April 28 elections.

Such activity, he said, “could harm electorally the Government of Pedro Sanchez, which is at least dirty play”.

“More unjustified and damaging was to prevent a visit from the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce to Barcelona, and another from a delegation of Catalan businessmen to Scotland, so that Catalan businessmen did not contact the Scots,” he wrote.

Vecino said he was dismissed for being “over-reaching in his work”, under the pretext that “a consul has no political functions”.

He wrote: “To say that I exceeded myself exceeds cynicism: in an email from the minister’s cabinet itself I am ordered to make a report of my political activities with a list of my contacts and interviews.”

The diplomat added that he had emails “about the United Kingdom, the prime minister of Scotland, independence, etc ... information of surprising origin and documentation that the Scots would not like their publicity”.

Vecino insisted that he created an “excellent” relationship with the government of Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP.

“They entrusted me to do a political job that corresponded to the ambassador [Carlos] Bastarreche and that he had not done in the more than three years he has been in the United Kingdom, since he had never officially visited Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland since, he told me himself, it is not necessary and he only talks with friends,” he said.

He went on to stress that he managed to “completely neutralise the influence and propaganda of Catalan separatism” in Scotland and that his sacking revealed all that he achieved.

However, now, he said: “The yellow ties have returned to the lapels of Scottish deputies [MSPs] and I doubt that the Government of Edinburgh will ever trust a Spanish representative again.

“Borrell has done great damage to Spain’s relations with the United Kingdom and Scotland, and to the image of the government.”

Vecino said that as a minimum, he should be rewarded with another position abroad as recognition of the “great work” he did in Edinburgh, “not only political but also consular”.