A CONSERVATIVE businessman has told David Cameron face to face he will back independence in next year's referendum.

Laurie Clark, owner and managing director of Anglo-Scottish Concrete, claimed independence would end an unfair union between Scotland and the UK. He spoke to the Prime Minister at a private drinks reception for Tory party members at a hotel near Loch Lomond yesterday.

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Clark, who has donated money to the Conservatives, said: "For me, a Yes vote represents the end of an unfair union but the beginning of a fairer and mutually beneficial partnership between Scotland and the rest of the UK.

"Independence represents the best of both worlds whereby we maintain many of the unions between Scotland and the rest of the UK, including the union of the crowns and the trade union but lose the out-of-date political union."

He said the referendum was not a choice between Scottish and British identity but insisted independence would help the economy flourish north of the Border.

Mr Clark's intervention did not come as a complete surprise. His name appeared on lists of business figures backing Alex Salmond before the 2007 and 2011 Holyrood elections.

He was unveiled yesterday as an advisory board member of the pro- independence business network Business for Scotland.

Mr Clark also called for the creation of a new centre-right party in Scotland after the referendum - an idea put forward by the defeated Scots Tory leadership contender Murdo Fraser.

He said: "The Tory-led No Campaign is held back by the fact Con­servative values in Scotland are different to those promoted from London.

"The future of free-market voices in Scottish public life is best served by the formation of a new party after independence.

"There is a natural electoral base for right-of-centre perspectives in Scotland but an unbalanced political discourse which, no matter where you are on the political spectrum, is unhealthy for the future direction of Scotland."