ONE of the frontrunners in the Tory leadership battle has been knocked back after claiming she will “break the SNP’s Yellow Wall” if chosen to head up the party.

Penny Mordaunt is one of the favourites to take over from interim prime minister Boris Johnson after he was finally forced to step down last week.

Mordaunt, formerly a trade minister in Johnson’s government, has emerged as one of the Scottish Conservatives' top picks to enter No 10.

Writing in the Scottish Daily Mail on Tuesday, the Portsmouth North MP claimed she would “be a prime minister that wins votes across Scotland, the Yellow Wall, the Red Wall, Blue Wall and the entire United Kingdom”.

READ MORE: Who is Penny Mordaunt? The Tory who claims she won't 'play Nicola Sturgeon's games'

Mordaunt said she knows “what it will take” to beat the SNP in Scotland having beaten Labour in Portsmouth to win her seat at Westminster.

Acknowledging that it would be a long and “difficult” battle, the Tory leadership hopeful said that by putting forward a “positive vision” of the United Kingdom the SNP’s dominance in Scotland could be ended and the Conservatives could form a government in Holyrood.

She added: “I won’t play Nicola Sturgeon’s games. When asked about a referendum, you’ll hear me answer instead about people’s real priorities, such as how we can put more of your hard-earned money back in your pocket. I am firmly against playing on the SNP’s turf.”

Mordaunt’s claims have been dismissed by SNP figures, with MP Stewart McDonald writing on Twitter: “That’s funny, Penny. Tell the next one … ”

The party’s president, former constitution secretary Michael Russell, said that in their past meetings Mordaunt had shown a “complete disinterest in Scotland and Wales coupled with laziness – she never delivered anything she promised”.

Transport Secretary Jenny Gilruth agreed with Russell, saying Mordaunt had been “brought in by @michaelgove in an attempt to ‘manage’ the devolved governments during Brexit negotiations”.

“Full of platitudes, as most Tory Ministers are, delivered zilch and now even Gove isn’t backing her,” Gilruth added.

Gove, who was fired from Johnson’s government as dozens of other MPs resigned, has offered his support to rival leadership hopeful Kemi Badenoch.

READ MORE: Mhairi Black issues stark warning as Tory hopefuls drift further to the right

Responding to Mordaunt’s claims, SNP MP Mhairi Black said that, despite the rhetoric, she offered “nothing but a continuation of deeply damaging Tory policies that have punished households and businesses across Scotland”.

Black went on: "From backing an extreme Brexit, austerity cuts and callous policies, it's becoming clear from very early on in this Tory leadership contest that Mordaunt and her colleagues are desperate to outflank each other on the right.

"The fact is that whoever replaces Boris Johnson Scotland will still be saddled with a Tory government we didn't vote for imposing Brexit, austerity cuts and harmful policies against our will.”

The Tory hopeful also wrote in the Scottish Daily Mail that there was a limit on the support her party had been able to win in Scotland due to the scandals at Westminster.

She said that “every” Scottish Conservative she had spoken to had voiced frustration at Johnson’s government due to the knock-on effect on politics north of the Border.

Mordaunt wrote: “Too often, a ceiling has been placed on our party’s support in Scotland by events at Westminster. Every Scottish Conservative politician I’ve spoken to has voiced frustration at the way in which the SNP is let off the hook because of some scandal down south.

“Yet last year, even with Westminster troubles in the background, the Scottish Conservatives won their best result yet, gaining 100,000 more votes than ever before. Can you imagine what could be achieved if the ceiling on our support in Scotland was gone?”