MICHAEL Gove has been slapped down after accusing the Scottish Government of “grotesque mishandling” of ferry services.

Michael Russell said the full extent of the Tory minister’s expertise on the subject “could be written on the back of a one way London commuting railway ticket”.

Gove sparked the row with a defence of Rishi Sunak, who visited Bute yesterday as part of Boris Johnson’s new strategy to save the Union.

The Chancellor announced on his visit that the furlough scheme will not be extended – something Holyrood ministers have warned will lead to mass redundancies.

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Sunak was also accused of showing “complete disregard” for locals after reportedly skipping the queue for the ferry.

Responding to The National’s story on the visit, Gove tweeted: “I am not sure – given their grotesque mishandling of the provision of future ferry services – that this is a profitable line for the SNP.”

Constitution Secretary Russell commented: “Speaking as someone who represents more ferry routes than any other MSP allow me to point out that what the Rt Hon Member for Surrey Heath knows about Scottish ferry services – past, present or future – could be written on the back of a one way London commuting railway ticket.”

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Sunak was the fourth minister in recent weeks to visit Scotland, after Boris Johnson instructed Cabinet members to be more visible north of the Border.

As well as Bute, he made a stop at Peak Scientific in Glasgow, which manufactures gas generators for analytical laboratories.