THE Commons Speaker has addressed complaints about the SNP’s use of “bogus” statistics on Scotland’s energy generation potential.

Lindsay Hoyle upbraided Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross after describing the claims as “deliberately misleading”, advising him to be “more cautious” in his language.

The Unionist think tank These Islands have claimed to “debunk” the SNP’s often-repeated assertions that Scotland has 25% of Europe’s potential for offshore wind and tidal power.

Speaking after the Westminster intervention, Green minister Lorna Slater denied the Scottish Government knew the figure was not properly sourced until November 8, when they were approached about the report produced by the think tank.   

It was a claim brought up by a number of SNP MPs on a debate on Scottish independence in the Commons earlier this month.

Because the statistic deals with the vague concept of potential it is difficult to properly assess - though pro-Yes politicians have been advised against using it by civil servants.

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Hoyle told MPs in the Commons on Tuesday that he was “not going to continue the debate” around the claims and thanked one of the MPs who had mentioned the statistic in a debate previously for clarifying he had referred to “potential”.

The matter was initially raised by Jardine, the LibDems’ treasury spokesperson, who was jeered by SNP MPs as she accused Ian Blackford, Ronnie Cowan and Mhairi Black of spreading figures she described as “completely fictitious”.

Scottish Government civil servants have been privately warning SNP politicians against using the statistic, according to correspondence obtained by These Islands through Freedom of Information.

She asked whether the Speaker had been approached by SNP members to “correct the record”.

Ross, a Tory backbencher in Westminster, said the 25% figure was “actually closer to 4%”.

He added: “While they laugh and heckle at the research done by Sam Taylor of These Islands, they should remember what SNP Scottish Government officials have said.”

He went on to quote from government correspondence published by the think tank, in which civil servants in Edinburgh were quoted as saying: “We tend not to use this any more.”

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Another reportedly warned: “The 25% estimate has never to my knowledge been properly sourced.”

Ross added: “Yet they are still being robotically recycled by SNP members… who just in the last fortnight have used deliberately misleading claims in this house.”

He asked whether the Speaker would demand an apology from those MPs who had quoted the figures.

Cowan intervened as Hoyle was addressing the concerns to say had had only ever referred to the “potential” for Scotland’s renewable capacity.