David Cameron has been urged by a senior and influential Conservative to create a breakaway Scottish Tory party. Tim Montgomerie, editor of the influential conservativehome.com website, said the radical move should be considered as the Scottish Tories were making “limited” progess under leader ­Annabel Goldie.

His call comes after Cameron was warned by his own financial backers at a private dinner about Goldie’s performance.

The Sunday Herald revealed last month that senior Tories want Cameron to avoid making David Mundell the next Scottish Secretary if the party defeats Labour at the General Election.

A number of Tories believe that Mundell, the party’s sole MP in Scotland, would be no match for First Minister Alex Salmond, who could exploit the lack of Conservative seats in Scotland and jeopardise the Union.

It is believed that appointing an MSP to the House of Lords and then as Scottish Secretary has been floated as a “plan B”.

Montgomerie, who has impeccable links to the Tory shadow cabinet, urged Cameron to consider a Scottish Tory breakaway: “The Cameron effect has not reached Scotland like it has in Wales or the north of England. If the progress in Scotland is as limited as it looks like it might be, we should revisit the idea of creating a Scottish party with its own identity. It would help them break free from the Thatcher years.

“We [the Tories] talked two years ago about whether we should have a Scottish Reform Party, or a Scottish Freedom Party.”

He added: “It is a great shame that draft plans to give the Scottish party independence from the rest of the Conservative Party were shelved when mooted in April 2007.”

Francis Maude, a key Cameron ally in the shadow cabinet, is also thought to believe the Scottish party should have far greater independence.

Rumours surrounding Mundell’s position were fuelled by his exclusion last month from a Tory fundraising dinner at key donor Sir Jack Harvie’s house.

Goldie, Scottish Tory leader since 2005, was also absent from the Milngavie gathering, despite living half an hour away in Bishopton.

It is understood that the business figures who attended the Cameron dinner were more critical of Goldie than Mundell.

The anti-Goldie comments were made during the UK leader’s “private” sessions with the business people.

Tory industry supporters, in common with other senior party figures, do not believe she is the leader the Conservatives need.

One senior party insider said: “She fits none of the requirements of the modern Conservative party.”

While the UK Conservatives continue to record substantial leads over Labour in UK opinion polls, the Scottish Tories are struggling to make an impact.

At the last Holyrood poll, Goldie won 16.6% of the first-past-the-post vote, and 13.9% of the regional vote.

However, Cameron is believed to support Goldie as he cannot see an obvious alternative.

One well-placed Tory source said Goldie’s inability to persuade Cameron to back more financial powers for Holyrood was an example of her ineffectiveness.

MSPs were said to be taken aback at Goldie’s anger at the piece, with one insider saying that the Scottish Tory leader had been “furious”.

A small number of culprits have been identified as the potential source of the leak.

Her lack of electoral progress, if repeated at the General Election, may also further calls for the Scottish Tories to become independent of the UK Conservatives.

Bill Kidd, an SNP MSP said: “The Tories have been in the wilderness in Scotland for many years, and there’s obviously a schism between Cameron and Goldie, who clearly doesn’t fit the bill.”

Tom Harris, Labour MP for Glasgow South, said: “The Tories are turning in on themselves ahead of the General Election.

“It is no wonder the Tories under David Cameron are less popular in Scotland than they were under Margaret Thatcher.”

A spokesman for Goldie said of the Harvie dinner: “I wasn’t there, therefore I can’t comment on what someone alleges came up at the dinner.”

When asked about Montgomerie’s idea, the spokesman said: “It’s a hoary old chesnut which, every eighteen months or so, someone will come up with as an idea.

“I don’t share the prognosis that we’re not making progress.”