UK ministers are getting into “a habit” of snubbing the Scottish Parliament with repeated rejections to address committees and engage with MSPs, it has been claimed.

In the last month Scottish Secretary Alister Jack has declined invitations to the equalities and constitution committees to give evidence on his decision to block the Gender Recognition Reform (GRR) Bill, while Chancellor Jeremy Hunt rejected a request to attend the finance committee to discuss UK fiscal matters with MSPs via his Chief Secretary.

Equalities minister Kemi Badenoch was also guilty of dismissing an invite to the equalities committee, despite her publicly expressing concerns over the GRR legislation.

These repeated snubs have fuelled a sense among many MSPs that the Parliament is being treated with increasing contempt.

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Maggie Chapman, who sits on the equalities committee, said UK ministers’ apparent attitude towards Holyrood does nothing for their “Union of equals” claims.

The Green MSP told The National: “This is becoming a habit. The message that the UK Government is sending is one of contempt for the Scottish Parliament and for devolution.

"Whether it is their unprecedented and anti-democratic decision to block Gender Recognition Reform or their catastrophic handling of the economy, the Tories need to be held accountable.

"We have been told time and again that the UK is a union of equals, but senior ministers cannot even be bothered to attempt to justify the terrible decisions they have made and the damage that they have done and are doing.

"It is no wonder that the Tories have lost every election in Scotland since 1955, and, if this is their attitude, there will be even more failures ahead. It's time to remove this cruel and incompetent Tory government for good."

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When looking back over the years, these rejections have not been uncommon, but there is a sense UK ministers are more regularly finding ways to avoid meeting with their Scottish counterparts and MSPs - with these four rejections all coming in the space of a few weeks.

Back in July, SNP depute leader Keith Brown attacked the UK Government for an “unacceptable snub” after he was unable to meet with any ministers on a visit to London.

The Scottish Government minister said meetings with then home secretary Priti Patel and defence minister Leo Docherty, which would have taken place, were all declined, while separate requests to meet Defence Secretary Ben Wallace and Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab both went unanswered.

Michael Gove was also accused of disrespecting the Scottish Parliament by continually dodging a grilling on the replacement of vital EU funds with the UK Government’s levelling up agenda. He did eventually appear before the finance committee in February last year after repeatedly failing to commit to a date in 2021.

A Scottish Parliament spokesperson said: “It is for parliamentary committees to approach witnesses to assist with their scrutiny, including UK ministers where decisions may impact on Scottish Government policy or finances. Any follow-up on an invitation is for the relevant committee.”