FORMER Conservative MSP Adam Tomkins has called on the opposition in Scotland to “divorce themselves from their London parties” in an effort to stop the SNP and independence.

The former representative for the Glasgow region wrote in The Herald that Scottish Labour, the Scottish Tories and LibDems must “break free of the millstones around their necks” if they wish to gain power.

In the piece, Tomkins reiterated a previous call for a Unionist electoral pact, which would see the pro-UK parties offer up one single candidate in each seat to avoid vote splitting.

Tomkins’s former colleague, Murdo Fraser, has previously called for the Scottish Tories to be separated from their Westminster bosses – however, there has been little appetite for this within the party.

The National:

With Scottish Tory chief Douglas Ross regularly pressed to defend Boris Johnson during media interviews in recent weeks, it is little surprise that this option may be becoming more appealing to Conservatives north of the Border.

In his article, Tomkins writes: “None of the opposition parties are going to get anywhere near power until they break free of the millstones around their necks, divorce themselves from their London parties, and come together to offer a single, united front against the Nationalist ascendancy.

“That does not mean messing about on the lists, Alliance-for-Unity style. It means taking on the SNP, seat by seat, with a single opponent instead of splitting the anti-SNP vote three ways.”

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He added: “The nationalists are in the ascendancy, as they were a year ago. They are tired and exhausted and punch drunk and wholly without a plan to get from where we are to where they want us to be.

“Not especially interested in governing, they are condemned to continue in government, almost as miserable as their opponents that there really is no alternative. Scotland’s is a zombie Government for a population grown so used to mediocrity it can’t remember any better.

“Meanwhile, the Unionists are as divided as ever. The Tories are standing still and likely from here only to go backwards, dragged down by goings on in London they can neither control nor influence. Labour are as unsure as ever of where their vote is coming from.

“For every four ex-Labour voters in Scotland, three have drifted to the SNP and one to the Tories. Do Labour go soft on the Union to get the SNP voters back, or hard on the hapless UK Government to get the Tory voters back?

“Unless and until they resolve that question, they have no future in Scottish politics, no matter how impressive Anas Sarwar may otherwise be as a campaigner.”

The SNP secured a record fourth term in Government in the Holyrood election in May when they won 64 seats – one more than in 2016.

The Scottish Tories returned 31 MSPs, equalling their 2016 performance, while Labour dropped two to 22.

An SNP spokesperson commented: "Mr Tomkins clearly hasn't learned from the last time he suggested this ludicrous theory. 

"Both Labour and the Liberal Democrats know that sharing a ticket with the Tories would signal the end of their parties integrity in Scotland. 

"Instead of offering desperate theories on how to beat the SNP, Mr Tomkins would be better placed trying to come up with a constructive and positive argument for Scotland remaining part of his beloved Union."