NICOLA Sturgeon has taken a swipe at Douglas Ross, saying most people in Scotland, and even in his own party, can't imagine him being First Minister.

Speaking at FMQs, Ross was seen smiling as the FM responded to his question of support for businesses impacted by Covid restrictions.

It comes after the Scottish Tory leader was called a "lightweight" figure by Jacob Rees-Mogg.

READ MORE: Jacob Rees-Mogg's 'arrogant disdain' for the Scots Tories backfires spectacularly

Responding to the Tory leader, Sturgeon said: "If Douglas Ross had been standing here, something that I know is hard to contemplate for people in Scotland and even harder for some people in his own party, it seems.

"But if Douglas Ross had been standing here, is he really saying that he would have not responded to those predictions in December? Because if that had been the case, we would be in a seriously, seriously difficult position right now."

Sturgeon said because the Scottish Government took "sensible action" it is not lifting those restrictions.

"But we are doing so in a phased and responsible way," she said.

"And finally, presiding officer, had I followed the advice of Douglas Ross over these past months, we wouldn't have faced covering still being used in Scotland, we wouldn't have some of the mitigations we have in schools, we would not have taken many of the sensible actions we've taken, and we'd be in a much worse position than we are in right now.

"So I'll continue to follow a sensible, responsible course to lead this country as safely as possible through the remainder of this pandemic."

The National: Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross as First Minister Nicola Sturgeon delivers a Covid-19 update statement on the Omicron variant at the Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh. Picture date: Tuesday November 30, 2021. PA Photo. See PA story HEALTH

Douglas Ross has been labelled a 'light-weight' figure by those in his own party

Ross responded, saying if the FM had listened to the Tories, businesses wouldn't now be complaining they haven't yet received funds to help them through Covid restrictions.

He said: "She says I have to listen to her answers. First Minister, please listen to the businesses that are telling you here in Scotland.

"You made a promise to them that you failed to deliver, and they are waiting for this vital funding."

Sturgeon was later asked about the Tories’ “unmasked disdain” for Scotland at First Minister’s Questions.

Speaking about the Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross, Sturgeon said: “Even I am not as derogatory about him as his Tory colleagues are being.”

Noting that Conservatives at Westminster had described the Scottish Tory leader as “not a big figure” and “lightweight”, she added: “These might be personal insults directed at the leader of the Scottish Conservatives, but actually they say something much deeper about the Westminster establishment’s utter contempt for Scotland.

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Jacob Rees-Mogg, above, said Douglas Ross has never supported the Prime Minister

“If they can’t even show basic respect for their own colleagues, what chance do the rest of us have?

“The fact is Westminster thinks Scotland doesn’t need to be listened to, can be ignored.”

She added that this meant “an added benefit of being independent is that we will no longer have to put up with being treated like something on the sole of Westminster’s shoe”.

Sturgeon said: “I suspect today even Douglas Ross finds that a really attractive proposition.”

On Thursday, Ross responded to the accusations by Commons leader Rees-Mogg that he is a “lightweight”.

READ MORE: Tory civil war: Alister Jack fires back at Jacob Rees-Mogg

The Scottish Conservative leader, who called for Boris Johnson to resign for attending a drinks party at Downing Street, said the Tory MP was entitled to his opinion but that he disagreed.

On Wednesday, the Leader of the House of Commons defended the Prime Minister and hit out at Ross, telling the BBC’s Newsnight programme the Scottish leader was “quite a lightweight figure” in the Conservative Party.

Speaking before entering Holyrood’s debating chamber for FMQs, Ross said: “Jacob Rees-Mogg, as anyone, is entitled to their opinions. I don’t have to agree with them.”

He added: “My message is I’m going to hold the First Minister to account and ensure that Scottish Conservatives continue to provide a real alternative here in Scotland.”