NICOLA Sturgeon had a powerful response to the “disdain” shown for the Scottish Tory leader by his own Westminster colleagues.

Scotland’s First Minister took a question from SNP MSP Audrey Nicoll during FMQs, who wanted to know her views on Michael Gove and Jacob Rees-Mogg’s snide remarks about Douglas Ross.

Speaking on Newsnight, Rees-Mogg dismissed Ross’s calls for the Prime Minister’s resignation after he apologised for attending a BYOB gathering in the Downing Street garden during the first lockdown.

READ MORE: Jacob Rees-Mogg's attacks on Douglas Ross backfire spectacularly

The Commons Leader said Ross was a “lightweight” figure in politics, and suggested the Scottish Secretary’s views have more weight. Alister Jack has since expressed his public support for Boris Johnson.

Meanwhile, Gove was asked about Ross and the Scottish Tories’ calls for Johnson’s resignation. He is reported to have said: “My instant response is he's in Elgin and the national Tory leader is in London.”

To groans from the Tory benches, Aberdeen South and North Kincardine MSP Nicoll asked the First Minister if she agreed that the “unmasked disdain the UK Government has shown … for their own colleagues in Scotland … makes it crystal clear that Scotland needs to become an independent country”.

Sturgeon responded: “I have big political differences with Douglas Ross – but even I am not as derogatory about him as his own Tory colleagues are being.

“’Not a big figure’, ‘lightweight’ – 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.

“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.

“Independence is fundamentally about empowerment and aspiration. But you know what, an added benefit of being independent is that we’ll no longer have to put up with being treated like something on the sole of Westminster’s shoe.

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