FORMER Scottish Tory leadership contender Michelle Ballantyne sparked a row last night as during a furious interview she admitted Jackson Carlaw had been pushed from his position.

Yesterday afternoon Carlaw, who was elected in February, resigned as the party’s leader. Almost immediately afterwards there were rumours that Moray MP Douglas Ross was gearing up to take on the role.

Carlaw said he was leaving his position because he is not “the best person placed to lead” the case for the Union ahead of next year’s Holyrood election.

The SNP’s depute leader Keith Brown said the sudden resignation proves Westminster pulls the strings of the Tories in the Scottish Parliament.

READ MORE: Five of Jackson Carlaw's biggest blunders at First Minister's Questions

Last night Tory MSP Ballantyne backed up Brown’s claims in an angry interview with The Nine.

Asked whether Carlaw had resigned or been pushed out, the South Scotland MSP told the programme: “I think he must have been pushed. I mean as you said in your broadcast, he was there in parliament this afternoon. We got no warning, there was no conversation, we got a press release saying he was resigning – I’m sorry, he was pushed.”

She said while the push had been “coming from everywhere” she suspected “it was Westminster that pushed him”.

The presenter asked Ballantyne: “So Boris Johnson or perhaps even Dominic Cumming scalping your party up here, are you happy with that?”

“No,” she replied promptly. “I’m happy he’s gone. I never thought he was the right person.

“I think the party did make a bad choice in making him leader.”

READ MORE: WATCH: Shameless Tory MSP condemns 'hounding' of Dominic Cummings

Ballantyne lost to Carlaw in February’s Scottish Tory leadership contest. She received 1581 votes to his 4917.

She told the programme she doesn’t want to see “another stitch up where somebody gets foisted on us”.

Ballantyne said: “It is for the Scottish Conservative membership to choose their leader. Whether they do that by a coronation or whether they do it by a contest, we cannot have a situation where a plan is made without any of us having a say in it.”

Asked about rumours Ross, who met with Johnson in Moray just last week, could be going for the job, Ballantyne said: “I do not like stitch ups, I do not like decisions that are planned in advance and foisted on people.

“I want to know what Douglas Ross [below] – if he’s running for leadership which he clearly intends to – I want to know what he’s committing to.”

The National: Undated handout file photo of Conservative MP Douglas Ross who has apologised for saying his priority as prime minister would be to bring in ''tougher enforcement against gypsy travellers''. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Friday Augu

She added she hasn’t decided if she will run for leadership but is “really angry if basically we are seeing exactly the same thing as we saw in January where the party high heidyins make a decision and they foist it on everybody else”.

Following the interview, Ballantyne's name was trending on Twitter.

National contributor Lesley Riddoch was among those questioning the autonomy of the Scottish Tories. She wrote: "Michelle Ballantyne MSP on @BBCScotNine suggests Carlaw was chosen by London, they fired him today & they will choose his successor. Democracy? Scottish party? Not much."

But a former campaign manager for Carlaw, Ewan Waddell, had a different view. He posted: "A typically classless response from Michelle Ballantyne who ran a dirty tricks campaign in January and lost by the largest margin in UK Tory history. A busted flush."

Ballantyne is a controversial figure in the Scottish Tories and has been criticised for a number of comments.

She has claimed "no such thing as a Bedroom Tax" and insisted the Tory Government’s two-child limit on child tax credit and Universal Credit is about “fairness”. She also appeared to back privatising the NHS during a Holyrood debate last year.

READ MORE: Who is the MSP challenging Jackson Carlaw to be ScotsTory leader?

During October’s Tory conference, Johnson’s first as leader of the party, Ballantyne was given a slot hosting an event on the Union. It was reported that she was “clearly rated by Team Boris”.

But after Carlaw was elected in February the MSP was dropped from the Scottish Tory front bench as well as her social security spokesperson position.

During the campaign Ballantyne accused Carlaw of lacking vision and claimed he had a “policy vacuum” which left his party talking exclusively about independence.