A TORY MSP has said Liz Truss's “attention-seeker” jibe at First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was "ill-informed" amid backlash over the leadership hopeful's attitude.

Truss, who is the frontrunner to be the next UK prime minister, said during a hustings event in Exeter that the “best thing to do with Nicola Sturgeon is ignore her”.

The comments sparked fury across the political divide, with former Tory MSP Mary Scanlon slamming Truss for her “inappropriate” statement, adding that she would not be giving the Foreign Secretary her vote.

READ MORE: EU Copenhagen hub to strengthen Nordic links with Scotland

And now, one Scottish Tory MSP, among a cohort who are supporting Truss’s rival Rishi Sunak, has criticised Truss’s comments - but not all of them.

Maurice Golden, Tory MSP for North East Scotland, told the Scottish Daily Mail: “I think the comments are ill-informed for someone who could be prime minister.

“While undoubtedly Nicola Sturgeon is an attention seeker, she should be ignored at our peril because we need to be making the positive case for the Union, we need to be ensuring that we have sound economic policy, and ignoring Nicola Sturgeon is undoubtedly the wrong thing to do.”

Other Tory MSPs have thrown their weight behind Truss and insisted that her comments were in relation to the upcoming independence referendum - and not Nicola Sturgeon personally.

Nine MSPs had publicly backed Truss to become PM - though that was before the Exeter incident. Ten Tory MSPs have endorsed her competitor Sunak, including Jackson Carlaw and Donald Cameron.

Douglas Ross, the Scottish Conservative leader, has not backed either candidate.

The National: Murdo Fraser defended Truss's commentsMurdo Fraser defended Truss's comments (Image: Shona Craven.)

Senior Tory MSP Murdo Fraser claimed that Truss has a better understanding of people’s needs than the Scottish First Minister.

He said: “Liz Truss is far more in tune with the majority of Scottish opinion on this issue than Nicola Sturgeon is," he claimed.

“So I think Liz Truss was absolutely right to say this is not the time for an independence referendum, I won’t be sanctioning it on my watch, and there are other priorities that the Scottish Government should be focusing on.”

Deputy First Minister John Swinney called the language used by Truss “completely and utterly unacceptable” as he hit back at the Tory MP.

READ MORE: SNP publish Supreme Court intervention bid ahead of indyref2 case

Swinney said that whatever people’s politics in Scotland are, they will be “horrified” by Truss’s comments.

Meanwhile, former Scottish Tory MSP Scanlon, who served as MSP for the Highlands and Islands between 1999 and 2016, called BBC Radio Scotland to vent her frustration at Truss’s attitude towards the FM.

The 75-year-old said she would not be voting for Truss, and said she believed the comments meant the Foreign Secretary was “completely finished”.