THE chief whip of the Scottish Tories has called for parties at Holyrood to be stripped of powers.

Stephen Kerr wants the move in order to make debates at the Scottish Parliament less “scripted”, he told The Herald.

Kerr blamed “the nature of having a nationalist government” for the parliamentary environment cited, also saying it was too constrained.

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The SNP hit back at the Scottish Tory – describing his comments as "pathetic moaning" and pointing to his party’s decision to snub him at First Minister’s Question in their reply.

Kerr said: “I think it’s horrendously weak, not to be prepared to ask questions of each other.

“There are reforms that we need to bring forward for the Scottish Parliament that would make it more lively and more spontaneous and less scripted – it’s horribly scripted.

“I’d like the presiding officer to have more power and exercise it, I’d like the parties to have less power. As the chief whip, I get to choose who speaks – that’s not right.”

Scottish Tory MSP Stephen Kerr urged reforms

Kerr has previously said there is a “degree of contempt from the Government towards the parliament”, adding that it is “renowned for its grip on and control of everything to do with its remit”.

He added: “We have a culture of conformity in this place, which needs to be broken.”

The SNP rejected his comments and suggested that the Tories try harder in winning elections.

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SNP MSP Paul McLennan said: “This is pathetic moaning from Stephen Kerr – and having been benched in favour of Jamie Greene at last week’s FMQs, it’s obvious even the Tory leadership don’t want to hear him any more than absolutely necessary.

“The Tories get plenty time to ask their own questions – it’s not parliament’s fault if they’re not very good at it.

“If Mr Kerr wants more time for the Tories in Holyrood then they should focus on how they can win an election – something they’ve failed to do in Scotland for 70 years.”

A Scottish Parliament spokesperson said: “The Presiding Officer has repeatedly made clear her commitment to ensuring that all members are able to fully scrutinise and hold the Scottish Government to account.

“As with any Member, Mr Kerr is welcome to share any views on procedural reforms with the Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee.”