RISHI Sunak has been accused of trying to give himself an “easy ride” by attempting to avoid answering questions from the Scottish press.

It comes after the Prime Minister’s visit to Aberdeenshire saw just 15 minutes pre-allocated to speak to the media – five minutes to BBC Scotland and 10 to print publications.

Sunak’s appearance on the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland was widely condemned after he became agitated with the interviewer, Martin Geissler, following a standard question about using a private jet to travel from London to Aberdeen.

And the 10 minutes he had allocated to print media came with strict rules, including a ban on reporting anything that happened until 10.30pm on Monday evening – nearly 12 hours later.

Members of the print media had been given less than 24 hours notice of where Sunak would be visiting beyond the “north east of Scotland” on Monday “morning”, with No 10 asking for sign ups to accreditation without revealing any more about the time or location.

Those members of the print media who were able to make the trip to St Fergus, near Peterhead, were ultimately given 13 minutes with the Prime Minister. 

It appears that Sunak did speak to broadcast media separately.

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No 10 made it clear beforehand that not everyone present would be given a question, saying they would be calling on the journalists who would be allowed to ask one. They also said that no cameras would be permitted in the print media's brief “huddle”.

The National decided that sending a journalist from its base in Glasgow to St Fergus – a roughly seven-hour round trip by car – was not ultimately worth it, given that our journalists would likely not be allowed to even ask a question.

And on Tuesday, Scottish Secretary Alister Jack (below) is to visit Glasgow to promote the new “investment zone” – but The National was told that print media were not to attend.

SNP president Michael Russell said the Tory ministers’ behaviour was a “real contrast” to the First Minister of Scotland.

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“The thing is about accountability,” Russell said. “It’s a real contrast that the First Minister of Scotland can be interviewed actually within the parliament by journalists at almost any time, look at the scrums that take place, and yet at Westminster, the Prime Minister [says] they will choose who asks the questions.

“It is a huge contrast. One of them is being accountable to people and the other is not giving a damn about those people.

“People just need to take note of this. Which of those in government is prepared to listen and be accountable and which is a government that is trying to avoid accountability.”

Russell said that “by avoiding the press you allow yourself to get an easy ride”, adding: “We shouldn’t allow it to happen. We should be ruthless in calling it out.”

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The SNP president said he had listened to Sunak’s interview with Good Morning Scotland and it was a “good example” of the Prime Minister’s attitude to the Scottish press.

“He got quite shouty when he was subjected to any questioning, the type of questioning which, frankly if you’ve appeared on Good Morning Scotland, is par for the course,” Russell said.

Sunak’s visit to Scotland was meant to come at the start of what the UK Government was calling “energy week”. However, reports emerged on Monday that the Prime Minister will be flying abroad for a holiday come Thursday.

The Prime Minister previously got into hot water with the media north of the Border after he attended the Scottish Tory conference in Glasgow – but insisted he would only take questions from six pre-selected news outlets.

Downing Street has been approached for comment.