SCOTTISH Culture Secretary Angus Robertson has told Douglas Ross to “put up or shut up” following his suggestion that “a number” of SNP backbenchers had spoken with him about holding the Scottish Government to account.

Robertson accused the Scottish Tory leader of “mischief making” during an interview with Good Morning Scotland on Wednesday morning.

Despite Ross’s (below) comments to the Tory party conference about speaking with SNP MSPs, he declined to mention any specific names.

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Asked about this by the BBC, Robertson said: “Well I think that’s frankly mischief making from Douglas Ross and trying to deflect the attention on the Conservative Party conference and the internecine warfare that there is in the UK Government.”

However, it was put to Robertson that Ross’s comments were not all “mischief-making” as Laura Maxwell pointed to the suspension of Fergus Ewing.

“There’s a world of difference between that and suggesting that talks have been held”, Robertson replied.

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“If Douglas Ross is so clear that that is the case he should name the people that conversations have been had with.

“Otherwise all he’s doing is mischief-making. He should put up or shut up.”

On the topic of Ewing, Robertson was asked about the MSPs comments that he would not be “hounded out” of the party he loves.

The Culture Secretary said: “The parliamentary group of the SNP in the Scottish Parliament decided last week by an overwhelming majority that he should be suspended from the group for one week.

“One week for having done what is not acceptable in any parliamentary party in a normal functioning democracy which is to vote on a matter of confidence against the government.

“He voted against the party, that’s not what one does as a normal parliamentarian in any party but I would just make the point it’s a world away from being hounded out from the party.

“He is somebody who has an exceptional record of public service both as a parliamentarian and as a leading member of the SNP. Not least that of a leading family in the SNP.

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“He has my full respect for his public service. On this issue he’s wrong.”

However, Robertson again stressed Ewing should not have voted against his own ministers but emphasised his respect for the MSPs family.

“We are talking about a one week suspension from the SNP group in the Scottish Parliament. It’s a world away from being ‘hounded out’ of the party.”