A ROW has erupted after a BBC Scotland host referred to Nicola Sturgeon as “our leader” during an interview with Rishi Sunak.

The Prime Minister appeared on the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland show during his visit north of the Border, which coincided with the announcement of two “green freeports” at Cromarty Firth and the Firth of Forth.

He was first asked by the host, Laura Maciver, how his face-to-face meeting with the First Minister – which took place the preceding evening – had gone.

Sunak said it was “great to see Nicola Sturgeon again” and said the two had had a “very constructive discussion”.

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Maciver then asked: “Are you pursuing a different relationship with our leader and with Holyrood from your predecessors?”

Sunak replied: “Look well my view is of course Nicola Sturgeon and I are not going to agree on everything, but what I want to do as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom is work constructively with the Scottish Government to make a difference to people in Scotland.”

The phrasing of the question however caused controversy, with the Scottish Conservatives claiming it would have jarred with people.

A party spokesperson told the Scottish Daily Mail: “Many listeners will have stopped in their tracks when they heard this jarring comment. Scotland has two governments and Rishi Sunak is just as much ‘our leader’ as Nicola Sturgeon is.”

A BBC spokesperson said the “interview was live and unscripted and normally we would refer to Nicola Sturgeon as the First Minister and leader of the Scottish Government”.

“Throughout the programme we made it clear that Scotland has two governments,” they added.

Maciver’s question was in reference to the often frosty relations between the UK and Scottish governments through Boris Johnson’s tenure and beyond. During her time in No 10, Liz Truss did not so much as call the First Minister.

Upon taking over as Prime Minister, making contact with the devolved nations’ leaders was one of Sunak’s first actions.

During his interview on the BBC Scotland show, Sunak also refused to spell out a democratic route to a second independence referendum.

Asked the question multiple times, the Prime Minister instead talked about inflation, the war in Ukraine, and other issues he claimed he “firmly believe[s]” the people of Scotland want him to focus on.