JASON Leitch should resign or be fired as national clinical director of Scotland after revelations that he called a Labour MSP a “smart arse” and said a Conservative one had acted “like a child,” the Tories have said.

WhatsApp messages revealed by the UK Covid Inquiry and exchanged between Leitch and then-health secretary Humza Yousaf in June 2021 showed the top health adviser had attacked opposition MSPs.

After a briefing with MSPs, Leitch told Yousaf that most had been “reasonable and predictable” but he singled out Conservative MSP Edward Mountain and Labour’s Daniel Johnson for criticism.

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Leitch said: “Just done MSP briefing. They were mostly fine. Very reasonable and predictable.

“Edward Mountain rude and Daniel Johnson a smart arse. Otherwise fine.”

Yousaf (above) replied: “Doesn't surprise me about Mountain or DJ frankly.

“[Labour MSP] Paul Sweeney will also be one to watch, he will tell you how to do your job.”

Leitch replied: “He's had a go on Twitter previously. [Scottish Labour leader] Anas [Sarwar] says he's struggling with him and new girl Mercedes [Villalba].”

He added: “Mountain was head shaking and harrumphing ... like a child.”

Yousaf texted to ask what Mountain and Johnson’s “main grumps” were, to which Leitch replied that the Labour MSP had asked about nurseries and Mountain had argued for Covid rules to be eased as there was “only one person in Raigmore [Hospital, in Inverness]”.

The National: Craig Hoy MSP

Responding to the messages, Scottish Conservative chair Craig Hoy (above) called for Leitch to go.

The Tory MSP said: “It is totally inappropriate that a supposedly impartial health advisor was behaving like a paid-up member of the SNP during the pandemic.

“The messages that have come to light from others reveal that Jason Leitch laughed as the future First Minister insulted others, and that he even joined in the mud-slinging at politicians from other parties.

“It is no wonder that he became a cheerleader for the industrial-scale deletion of WhatsApps from those at the top of the SNP-Government, and that it became a ‘pre-bed ritual’ for him and his colleagues to hide petty attacks – and much else besides – such as these.

“Mr Leitch must now do the decent thing and resign or be sacked as national clinical director, as it’s clear that he’s not fit for the role.”

Scottish Labour have already called for Leitch to be sacked after claims he had a “pre-bed ritual” of wiping WhatsApp messages during the pandemic.

Speaking in Holyrood, Scottish Labour deputy leader Jackie Baillie said: “Whether messages were deleted nightly or weekly, it is clear that Jason Leitch wiped his messages completely and seemed to find the period during the pandemic all quite funny judging from the messages we have seen.

“If the Scottish Government agrees that his behaviour was inappropriate then it is time Mr Leitch was sacked.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “The Scottish Government is committed to responding to both the UK and Scottish Covid-19 inquiries, as learning lessons from the pandemic is vital to prepare for the future.

“It would be inappropriate to comment on the detail of evidence being considered by the UK Covid Inquiry while hearings are ongoing.”