THE SNP have accused the Scottish Tories of “rank hypocrisy” for condemning an attack on devolution while supporting Westminster’s blocking of the gender reform legislation passed by Holyrood.

Former lead Brexit negotiator Lord Frost was met with a huge backlash after suggesting the Tories should “review and roll back some currently devolved powers” following the issues facing the SNP.

Senior Tories in Scotland condemned his remarks as “ill-informed” and “a load of baloney”.

But SNP depute leader Keith Brown has branded it “crocodile tears” from Tory MSPs who have failed to stand up for Scotland’s democracy.

Meanwhile, in the Sunday National, Minister for Independence Jamie Hepburn has warned the attack on devolution will make it harder for Holyrood to protect Scotland from “the worst excesses of Tory governments we didn’t elect”.

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He writes: “It’s only because we have a measure of self-government that we’ve been able to resist the creeping privatisation of the NHS south of the Border, that we’ve restored the principle of free education and that prescription charges here have been abolished.”

Frost’s attack on devolution came just days after the Scottish Government announced it would launch a legal challenge to Westminster’s block on its gender reforms using a Section 35 order.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, the Tory peer urged his party, “if re-elected”, to “review and roll back some currently devolved powers” in light of the issues facing the SNP.

He said his party had “allowed this to happen”, adding: “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.”

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Frost also wrote that devolution should be about running an “effective local administration”, triggering a wave of criticism from Scottish Tory MSPs over his comments.

The column was condemned by multiple senior Tory MSPs, with finance spokeswoman Liz Smith calling it “ill-informed and misleading”.

Murdo Fraser described it as “nonsense”, while Donald Cameron, the Tories’ constitution spokesperson, said it was “a load of baloney”.

However, SNP depute leader Brown warned: “The people of Scotland will see right through these crocodile tears from Tory MSPs who have failed time and time again to stand up for Scotland’s democracy any time their Westminster bosses attempted to take powers away from Holyrood.

“All Lord Frost did this week was say what every Tory MSP has been thinking: the Tories would rather there was not a Scottish Parliament at all. They know that they will never win power in Holyrood so they are more interested in trying to undermine it.

“The Tories never supported devolution and a Scottish Parliament in the first place – a leopard can’t change its spots.

“If Tory MSPs really cared about Scotland’s democracy, they would stand up to the blatant power grabs we have seen from Sunak’s man in Scotland – Alister Jack.

“Our Scottish Parliament is not safe under this broken Westminster system where the Brexit-loving Labour Party are nowhere to be seen in this latest attack on devolution.

“That is why the only way to protect Scotland’s democratically elected parliament and keep it away from the hands of the Tories is with the full powers of independence.”

Scottish Tory constitution spokesperson Craig Hoy branded it a “feeble attack” by the SNP, adding Section 35 is a “crucial part” of devolution.