Hundreds of civil service jobs in Scotland would be at risk if there was a Yes vote next year, a Coalition cabinet minister has indicated.

International Development Secretary Justine Greening said it would be unusual for her huge department, which has a huge headquarters in East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire, to keep a second one outside the UK if Scotland voted for independence.

She said this would mean her team would be forced to "review" operations north of the Border, where about 600 people are employed, contributing approximately £25 million to the local economy, she told MPs on the Commons international development committee.

Earlier this month Humza Yousaf, Scotland's minister for external affairs and international development told the same committee the SNP would "look to preserve the continuity of employment" for those staff in an independent Scotland. But Ms Greening said that there was no basis under which workers could be "co-opted" into a new Scottish service.

She also accepted criticism from the Committee convener Sir Malcolm Bruce, the LibDem MP for Gordon, that her department could do more to build links with Scottish NGOs (Non Governmental Organisations) and said that she was keen to ensure that happened. She also said the UK's aid budget would shrink if Scotland left, saying her department would have to "cut our cloth accordingly".

Last night Mr Yousaf said: "It beggars belief that the Tories attack Scotland's ability to deliver on international development.

"For 42 years in succession the UK failed to meet the United Nations aid target and now they are rolling back on their own manifesto promises to protect the aid budget. In contrast to the Tory claims, and the poor UK record on aid targets, an independent Scotland can be a world leader in international development."