A TORY MSP refused to contradict George Foulkes’s claim that the UK is not a “Union of equals” during an interview with the BBC.

We previously told how former MSP and MP Foulkes told Good Morning Scotland on Wednesday that the idea of an equal Union was nothing more than a “myth that has been put around by the SNP”.

It led the First Minister to say that the Labour peer had said “the quiet bit out loud”.

Tory MSP Murdo Fraser (below) was asked what he made of the comments during an interview with Good Morning Scotland.

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He said: “Well Scotland is an integral part of the United Kingdom but we have a very distinct relationship because we have a system of devolution that gives Scotland very extensive devolved powers.

“But every citizen of the United Kingdom has one vote and people in Scotland elect members to the House of Commons who contribute to decision taken about how the UK is run.”

He said he felt it was a bit of an “esoteric” debate between “people on the nationalist side and people like George Foulkes”.

Fraser added that he did not think “these intellectual debates get us very far” and that Scotland “does well” out of being in the UK.

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He added: “Let’s remember of course the Barnett formula gives the Scottish population around £2000 per head more to spend on public services than the UK average and that’s a benefit of us being in the United Kingdom.”

SNP MP Joanna Cherry was among those to criticise Fraser for the interview as she tweeted: “On #GMS Murdo Fraser refuses the opportunity to contradict George Foulkes’ statement that the Union between Scotland & England was never meant to be a Union of equals.

Tories & Labour marching in lockstep on this one.”

Climate tweet

The MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife was also asked about a tweet he was forced to delete in which he made a joke about the heatwave facing Europe.

The now deleted tweet read: “Can we have some of that Mediterranean heatwave here please? It’s horribly chilly for July, have just had to put a winter jumper on.”

However, the tweet was met with much criticism given the wildfires currently raging across Europe although the Scottish Tories told The National that political opponents were “misrepresenting” the tweet – a stance Fraser doubled down on in his interview.

He said that what he puts out on Twitter is normally “tongue in cheek” but that the issue of climate change is “very serious”.

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Asked if he got the tone wrong, he said: “Well again you know, as I said people who follow me on social media know a lot of my output is quite tongue in cheek and it was intended in that respect and sometimes political opponents, who can be quite nasty people, what they’ll do is try and misinterpret and deliberately misrepresent things that other people will say.”

He added that he was delighted that the UK is “leading the way” in tackling climate change and encouraged others to follow its lead.