JACOB Rees-Mogg has been credited with boosting the case for Scottish independence after dubbing Nicola Sturgeon “moanalot”.

The Tory minister made the comment after the First Minister raised concerns about the Prime Minister travelling to Scotland during a pandemic. She questioned whether the trip is essential, in keeping with government coronavirus guidance.

Those thoughts were echoed by SNP MP Tommy Sheppard in the Commons.

He requested a debate on the role of UK Government ministers and the Prime Minister setting an example of following their own Covid-19 rules.

The National: Boris Johnson and Nicola Sturgeon

“I know of course that every time the Prime Minister opens his mouth on the subject, his ill-informed views drive support for Scottish independence upwards and I know also that his stage-managed visits to selected Scottish supporters make the SNP’s case for it,” Sheppard said.

“So in normal circumstances, he would be most welcome, but these are not normal circumstances. We are telling millions of people not to leave their homes and only to make essential journeys.

READ MORE: Call to know cost of Boris Johnson's Scottish trip after £50k Bute House visit

“This gallivanting is a blatant piece of electioneering while most are focused on fighting Covid. But the real tragedy is that his actions will undermine the public health message which we all need to succeed.”

His concerns were put to Leader of the House Rees-Mogg, who launched an attack on the First Minister.

“Well, I used to think that Moanalot was a fictional character, but it turns out it’s actually the First Minister of Scotland,” he said.

“All Ms Sturgeon can ever do is moan a lot. She moans when distinguished royal personages visit Scotland, she moans when the Prime Minister visits Scotland, people doing their duty, doing their job.”

LISTEN: Glaswegians tell Boris Johnson exactly what they think of his visit

The Tory minister claimed Johnson’s visit to a vaccine factory in Livingston is "something we should be proud of as a nation”.

He added: “The Prime Minister is doing his job and ‘Moanalot’ will have something to moan about in early February when Salmond gives evidence to a committee of inquiry in the Scottish Parliament and we find out all that is going on up north to the disadvantage of the Scottish people led by a hopeless administration.”

The National: Nicola Sturgeon endorses Scottish Women's Covenant on nuclear weapons

A spokesperson for the First Minister condemned Rees-Mogg's "arrogance".

They said: “It is comments like these which are simply helping support for independence to keep on rising.

“Jacob Rees-Mogg recently showed his contempt for Scotland’s fishing industry by mocking their plight amid the Brexit shambles he helped create – just as he showed his contempt for Parliament by lounging on the Commons benches.

“But it is he and his party, including Boris Johnson, who are increasingly regarded with contempt by people right across Scotland for their arrogance.”