FORMER Scottish secretary Alistair Carmichael has said Boris Johnson is “not making it easier to resist another referendum” after describing devolution as a “disaster” during a Zoom call to MPs.

The LibDem MP for Orkney and Shetland told BBC News that the Conservatives’ “mask has slipped” following the Prime Minister’s claim.

During a call to a group of northern English Tory MPs, Johnson called devolution to Scotland “Tony Blair’s biggest mistake” and added he did not “see a case” for devolved further powers to Holyrood.

The comments have sparked an angry backlash with politicians across the political spectrum attacking them. The Scottish Tories have also been attempting to distance themselves from the claim.

READ MORE: Scottish politicians slam PM for claim devolution is 'disaster north of Border'

Carmichael told the BBC: “This is the moment where for the Scottish Conservatives, the mask has slipped.”

He said under Ruth Davidson’s leadership there was an effort to appear like the party had changed from its previous anti-devolution stance – but “that has well and truly been blown sky high”.

The MP said: “We’ve got a massive mismatch between what Boris Johnson says in public and what he says in private. And you know, for the man who took to himself the title of Minister for the Union when he became Prime Minister you have to think with friends like this who really needs enemies.

The National:

“Boris Johnson now is a bigger threat to the continuation of the United Kingdom that Nicola Sturgeon or Alex Salmond could ever hope to be.”

Asked if he bought Robert Jenrick’s insistence that Johnson hadn’t meant devolution in general but what had been done with it, Carmichael said: “There can be no conditions attached to your support for devolution – you’re either in support of it or you’re not.

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“As Minister for the Union if Boris Johnson cannot accept that devolution is the settled will of the Scottish people then seriously he should not be in that job.”

The presenter then asked Carmichael if the “disaster” comment made Scottish independence more likely.

He replied: “Boris Johnson is not making it easier to resist another referendum. But in essence the arguments do not change.”

He argued that Scotland does not want the “division” or “uncertainty” caused by an independence referendum.

His comments come after 14 consecutive polls showed support for Scottish independence ahead of support for the Union.