IT is "astonishing" no UK chancellor in 24 years of devolution has ever given evidence to the Scottish Parliament regarding the country's finances, an SNP MSP has said.

Kenneth Gibson, who heads up the Parliament's finance committee, said it was "nothing short of an affront to Scottish democracy" that Jeremy Hunt had rejected an invite to discuss UK fiscal matters and their impact on Scotland with MSPs. 

The Chancellor joins a long line of Treasury chiefs that have failed to engage with MSPs on this issue since the Scottish Parliament was established in 1999.

He has now been invited for a second time to give evidence to the finance committee, with Gibson penning a stern letter to Hunt expressing his disappointment at his snub.

Hunt's decision not to attend the committee is one which also represents a concerning trend at Holyrood of UK ministers avoiding talks with their Scottish counterparts, with Scottish Secretary Alister Jack and Equalities and Women Minister Kemi Badenoch also dodging requested appearances in Edinburgh in the last few weeks.

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Gibson said it was clear the UK Government wasn't even trying to mask its contempt for Scotland anymore.

He said: “Since June – three Chancellors ago – the Finance and Public Administration has been unanimous in asking the Chancellor of the Exchequer to give evidence regarding Scotland’s finances. 

"It is astonishing that in 24 years of devolution, from Gordon Brown to Jeremy Hunt, no Chancellor ever has.

"It is deeply disappointing that so many UK Ministers simply refuse to engage with the democratically-elected parliament of Scotland, expecting Scots to suffer the consequences of disastrous Westminster policies in silence. 

"Over recent months, we've seen Tory ministers reject numerous invitations to engage with Holyrood committees trying to manage the impact of their damaging choices - it's nothing short of an affront to Scottish democracy.

"Westminster isn't even trying to mask its contempt for Scotland anymore - they simply have no interest in the views or needs of Scotland. It could not be more essential for us to become a normal independent country so we can escape the Tories for good and build a better, fairer future."

Green MSP Maggie Chapman, who sits on the equalities committee Jack and Badenoch were invited to to explain their use of Section 35 to block the gender reform bill, said she believed UK ministers were making a habit of wrangling their way out of coming north of the Border to explain their decisions.

Back in July last year, SNP depute leader Keith Brown also 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.