THE First Minister has vowed to “always defend our democracy” after a Tory peer called for Scottish devolution to be “reversed”.

Former Brexit negotiator Lord Frost urged Tory ministers, in an article for The Telegraph, that if they are “re-elected” they should “review and roll back some currently devolved powers” in light of the issues currently facing the SNP

Yousaf hit back at Frost’s comments in the Holyrood chamber and later told The National it was “part of a wider pattern”, from Section 35 to refusing to allow an exemption in the Internal Market Act for the Deposit Return Scheme, of the Tories trying to interfere with Scottish democracy.

“We, the Conservative Party and the Conservative Government, have allowed this to happen,” Frost wrote.

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“It’s time to fix it. Ministers should make clear that, if re-elected, they will review and roll back some currently devolved powers.

“In particular, Scotland does not need to be an independent actor on the world stage; it should not be able to legislate to disrupt free trade within the UK; and it does not need to have most tax raising powers currently available to it.

“These powers are embryonic, independent government powers.

“They aren’t necessary to run an effective local administration, which is what devolution should be about.”

The National: Frost's comments caused outrageFrost's comments caused outrage

Frost also said he hoped Labour would “do likewise” while dropping its “sneaking admiration for socialism in one (devolved) nation”.

Asked for his reaction to the comments by Frost, Yousaf told The National: “He of course said the quiet bit out loud.

“He said what every Scottish Conservative MSP is thinking, they’re a party that never supported the creation of this parliament and want to dismantle devolution.

“What I would also say is it’s part of a wider pattern. We see that with the use of a Section 35. We see that with the UK Government refusing to provide an exemption in the Internal Market Act for the DRS scheme.

“We see that of course, the UK Government wants to curtail the external activity that we do.

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"This is all about undermining devolution, anyone that believes in devolution should stand up against it.”

Yousaf was also probed about the comments at the very end of FMQs. He said: “We will always defend our democracy and we will always defend the voice and the will of the Scottish people.”

Frost’s column prompted fury amongst some senior Scottish Tories and even led to the party releasing a statement to the press.

MSP Murdo Fraser described the comments as “nonsense”, adding: “Devolution has allowed us to shine a light on SNP failures. The @Conservatives will not be rolling it back.”

Fellow MSP Stephen Kerr tweeted: “Strongly disagree with this article.

“A poor Scottish Government isn’t justification to roll back devolution, any more than issues at the UKGOV are justification for Scottish separation. Devolution works. It’s the SNP that are failing.”

The party’s constitution spokesman Donald Cameron added: “What a load of baloney. Devolution hasn’t failed and no Conservative should want to reverse it.”

The statement from a Scottish Tory spokesperson read: “Lord Frost is a backbench peer and entitled to his personal views.

“Our view, shared by the UK party, is that the problem is not with devolution but with this divided and distracted SNP Government.”