ANDREW Bowie was scolded on Question Time on Thursday for being like a “wee schoolboy” to Boris Johnson amid backlash after Scotland was snubbed for a major carbon capture project.

During a section on climate change, the Tories were accused of selling “Scotland down the river” over the decision.

It was hoped the Acorn Project, based at the St Fergus gas terminal in Aberdeenshire, would capture around 200,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year and transport it, using existing pipelines, for storage in one of three depleted North Sea gas fields.

But the Scottish site later missed out on the Westminster funding in favour of two locations in England.

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The topical debate programme was in Glasgow on Thursday with host Fiona Bruce joined by Scottish Hollywood actor Brian Cox, Finance Minister Kate Forbes, Labour Party leader Anas Sarwar, Professor Heather McGregor and Bowie.

Ahead of COP26 in Glasgow in November, the audience set questions on climate change to the panel.

Bowie, Tory MP for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine, said investment is being put into the North East despite losing out on the Westminster funding.

But one man in the audience objected to that claim, saying: “Andrew mentioned they’re investing billions and billions in the North East.

“That’s just to cover up what he actually sold away. He allowed the UK Government to take that money out of Scotland and invest in the north of England.

“And in typical Tory fashion he starts hitting us with all this about ‘we’ve invested £132 billion, £125bn’.

“And the Tory ministers, they’re good at this for all they do.”

The National: Scotland lost out on the carbon capture funding from the UKScotland lost out on the carbon capture funding from the UK

Referring to Bowie, he said: “He sold Scotland down the river by not allowing the North East project to go ahead.

“It’s not far away from his constituency – he probably represents that area.”

Bowie replied: “I don’t represent St Fergus itself but of course the sub-sea technology, and industry which is very much based in my constituency is obviously invested in very heavily, hence my disappointment it didn’t get tier one status.”

The audience member interjected: “Boris told you that it’s not going to happen in Scotland and you’re like a wee schoolboy that says, ‘okay Boris, if that’s what you want, that’s what you’ll get.

“'Never mind Scotland, you do what you want with your levelling up.’”

Bowie then suggested the investment is “still in the pipeline” but presenter Bruce cut in to say “well not for some years”.

After losing out on the first round of investment, which would have reportedly seen the project at St Fergus up and running in the mid-2020s, the project is now unlikely to be developed until the second phase in the 2030s at the earliest.

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Bowie continued: “This is the truth of the matter: the UK Government is committed to working with the Scottish Government to develop and move the plan forward so it can come on stream.

“Yesterday was only the start of the story. We’re a long way from actually developing clusters around the UK that we can take forward to see the scale we need to.

“And I’m really confident that in time the Scottish cluster will be a part of our overarching plans to do that but we are investing billions in our just transition, we’re investing in the North Sea.”

The audience member interjected again: “But where are all the billions coming from?”

At that point, presenter Bruce moved the programme on to the next question.