THE SNP is to refuse moves to put more Tory MPs on Westminster’s only committee dedicated to Scotland, The National understands.

The Scottish Affairs Committee (SAC) exists to scrutinise the activities of the Scotland Office and assess policies and legislation that have a direct impact on Scotland.

Yesterday papers revealed how Boris Johnson’s party could dominate the cross-party committee under newly-published plans.

Moves put down in Westminster paperwork show plans to put five Conservatives on the 11-member panel – increasing the number even after the number of Tory MPs in Scotland fell from 13 to six at December’s election.

The National:

While the SNP secured 47 seats, with suspended candidate Neale Hanvey winning another on a pro-independence platform, it has been allotted three members.

Labour would have two MPs, both drawn from English constituencies. The LibDems would take one place, nominating newly-elected Wendy Chamberlain.

A formula based on overall share of Commons MPs is used to determine spaces on each committee. However, parties can then trade these places in a process of bartering carried out through the offices of party whips.

Committee memberships are set to come to a vote in the House of Commons on Monday.

However, The National understands that the SNP will oppose the SAC proposal in a move that could force the holding on a debate. A source said: “All it would take is for one person to shout out that they oppose.

“That’s a possibility.”

Recent SAC enquiries have shed new light on the fractured relationship between London and devolved governments, with evidence heard that Whitehall staff don’t understand how devolution works.

READ MORE: Anger over Tory plan for Scottish Affairs Committee seats

Yesterday SAC chairman Pete Wishart said the proposed membership – including four MPs from English constituencies – was “certainly not levelling-up Scots representation”.

He went on: “It’s unacceptable for the Tories to reward themselves with an extra place when they have lost Scottish MPs.”

And MP Mhairi Black (below), set to join the panel as the SNP’s shadow Scottish secretary, said: “It’s a bit rich to stuff a committee focused on Scotland with Tory MPs when they lost more than half of their Scottish seats at the 2019 election.

“Committees about Scotland should reflect the members elected from there – it’s ridiculous that Westminster seems to have no mechanism in place to address this ridiculous imbalance. The brass neck of the Tories to take up these positions, even after such a crushing defeat in Scotland, beggars belief.”

The National contacted a Tory MP to comment on the issue but no response was received at the time of going to press.

Meanwhile, a Westminster source said the Conservatives’ 78-seat majority could disrupt any SNP challenge.

The National:

The source said: “It sounds like the SNP are not happy with the final list of names and it can be objected to and eventually debated on.

“But one side has got a huge majority in Westminster so you can probably predict how that is going to go unless people from that side don’t come along for the debate. They could even change the standing orders to get it through.”

Proposed new SAC members include Tories Alberto Costa and Sally-Ann Hart, who represent South Leicester and Hastings and Rye respectively, plus Labour’s Jon Cruddas of Dagenham and Rainham and Liz Twist of Blaydon.