JACOB Rees-Mogg has defended Liz Truss after she vowed to “ignore” the First Minister if elected Tory leader.

The current bookies’ favourite to become the next Prime Minister on Monday night branded Nicola Sturgeon an “attention seeker” to cheers from the audience at the Tory hustings at which she was speaking.

The minister for Brexit opportunities attempted to justify the comments on Tuesday morning, doubling down on criticism of the SNP leader.

He told Sky News Sturgeon was “always moaning” and being “very often wrong”.

“When she’s waffling on endlessly about having a referendum and going to the Supreme Court and all of this, we need to be saying, hold on you’re doing this because you’re failing to deliver for the people of Scotland, and the United Kingdom Government will have to deliver for the people of Scotland as well,” he added.

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Rees-Mogg said the SNP operated in a state of permanent “mild fury – a lot of it confected”.

Truss, who has pitched herself as a “child of the Union”, has said she would block a second referendum for her entire time in office, if elected Prime Minister.

The Foreign Secretary was condemned as well as mocked for the comments, with some accusing her of double-standards, pointing to her own self-aggrandising antics in post.

It was revealed earlier this year Truss’s team had posted one photograph on her Flickr account for every five hours on the job while on a state visit to Moscow before the invasion of Ukraine.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney called her comments “obnoxious”, adding: “I think Liz Truss has with one silly, intemperate intervention, fundamentally undermined the argument that she tries to put forward, that Scotland somehow can be fairly and well treated at the heart of the United Kingdom."

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Lorna Slater, the Greens minister for the circular economy, said Truss had shown “total disrespect” to Sturgeon.

The party co-leader added: “She knows that the democratic case for a referendum is unanswerable, so she would rather patronise us and ignore us.”

Rishi Sunak, her competitor for the top job, pounced on the comments with a spokesman for his campaign saying: "As members across Scotland will know, it is not good enough to simply ignore the SNP when we need a plan to beat them."

The SNP's deputy Westminster leader Kirsten Oswald said Truss' "cack-handed" jibe showed "the partnership of equals Scotland was promised in 2014 was a sham", adding: "Firing cheap shots to grab headlines is straight out of the Trump playbook". 

Alex Cole-Hamilton, the Scottish LibDems leader said the SNP would be "secretly glad" because the remarks allowed the party to enter a "silly and undignified war of words".

Alba released a statement to the press referring to the comments as the "Exeter Declaration", Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh, the party chair, said: "The response to Truss should not be meek letters asking for a section 30 or fruitless appeals to the Supreme Court.

"We require a campaign of parliamentary and popular action backed up by diplomatic initiative to force Scotland’s democracy down the throat of Downing Street. We need to meet Westminster Tory arrogance with Scottish democratic strength.”

Former Labour spin doctor Alastair Campbell said he thought Truss had further "weakened" the Union. 

He added: "Also given her entire rise to this position has been founded on a belief that instagram and media briefing are more important than policy and intellect, the ‘attention seeking’ jibe is about as rich as it gets."