THE issues with the SNP’s accounts have “crashed the case for independence”, Douglas Ross will claim in a keynote speech at the Scottish Tory conference.

The party’s annual meeting, which is being held at Glasgow’s SEC on April 28 and 29, will hear Ross attack the SNP for having wrecked the case for leaving the UK “through their own blunders”.

But pro-Yes parties told The National that the Scots Tory leader was talking “utter nonsense”, insisting the case for independence is still strong and the “only thing that's crashed is his leadership and the cruel, racist, incompetent and climate-wrecking Tory government that he supports”.

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Ross is set to tell party faithful: “The SNP’s financial troubles have blown a huge hole in the economic case for independence.

“The SNP wanted to hold an independence referendum in just six months’ time – when they cannot even find an auditor in the same timeframe.

“They wanted to set up a central bank – when they cannot even submit their own accounts.

“To borrow billions of pounds from the taxpayer to finance a new country – when they still owe tens of thousands of pounds to Peter Murrell.”

He will add: “Through their own blunders, the nationalists have crashed the case for independence.”

The National: Will the party’s deputy leader Keith Brown have full rein to make the changes required?

The SNP’s depute leader, Keith Brown (above), said Ross was guilty of “shameless … attempts to deflect attention from the damage [the Tories] have caused to Scotland with their disastrous hard Brexit, record of austerity, and continued inaction on the cost of living crisis”.

“The truth is that the Tories have absolutely nothing to offer the people of Scotland – and Douglas Ross lacks any credibility when it comes to standing up for people’s priorities,” Brown said.

Green MSP Maggie Chapman called Ross’s claims “utter nonsense”, going on: “It’s just more of the same anti-democratic tripe from Douglas Ross.

“The only thing that's crashed is his leadership and the cruel, racist, incompetent and climate-wrecking Tory government that he supports.”

Alba general secretary Chris McEleny added: “Unfortunately for the Tories in Scotland, even though support for the SNP is dropping to much lower levels than we’ve been used to, support for independence, in poll after poll, registers higher than it did in the 2014 referendum.

“If that independence support was to find a new home in the Alba Party it would result in the Tories losing most of their seats in every single region across Scotland.”

The Scottish Tory leader will also use his keynote speech to unveil a “Community Energy Benefit Law”, which he says will help net zero to be delivered “with community consent and benefit at its heart”.

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The law would give communities the final say on energy developments in their area as well as “force developers and operators to negotiate deals that make meaningful financial payments to communities”.

Ross will further put out a plea to the Scottish public to “unseat SNP MPs” at the next General Election. He said this would send a message to Humza Yousaf to focus on “their real priorities”.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak (below) also trialled speeches which he will give to the Scottish Tory and Welsh Tory conferences, which are being held simultaneously.

The National: Prime Minister Rishi Sunak (Hannah McKay/PA)

The press release on Sunak’s speech stated: “Speaking in Glasgow he will say: ‘I have five priorities and they’re priorities for the whole of UK [sic]. I want to halve inflation, grow the economy, reduce debt, cut waiting lists – which I know is the Scottish Government’s responsibility – and stop the boats.

“‘It is time for a government at Holyrood that focuses on Scotland’s real priorities, not constitutional abstractions. We, the UK Government, will get on with delivering for Scotland and the whole UK.’”

The speech trialled for Wales was largely the same, except it did not have a nod towards health being devolved amid his “five pledges”, and began: “The people of Wales don’t want to be guinea pigs for Labour’s socialist agenda.”

READ MORE: Sunak takes 28-minute flight despite criticism for jetting around Britain

Sunak will address the Scottish Conservative conference in Glasgow at 10:00am before travelling to the Welsh Conservative conference in Newport for a speech at 14:30.

The two are more than six hours apart by car and roughly the same by train, meaning the Prime Minister is all but certain to fly.

In 2021, Labour demanded an inquiry into whether the ministerial code had been breached after then prime minister Boris Johnson appeared to use a taxpayer-funded government plane for Conservative party purposes ahead of the Hartlepool by-election.