THE European Commission has agreed to retain the role of EU Chief Scientific Adviser but it is not expected to stop the Scots incumbent in the position from leaving, it is claimed.

Details of the u-turn were divulged to Scottish Tory MEP Dr Ian Duncan by First Vice-President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans.

In November it was confirmed that the position held since 2012 by Prof Anne Glover, a former chief scientist for Glasgow, would not be extended.

Prof Glover had incurred the ire of green groups with her open support for genetically modified crops.

In contrast to the official EU position, Ms Glover said that opposing the technology was "a form of madness".

Last year, green groups published a letter to the incoming President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, calling on him to scrap the role.

The CSA, according to the letter, "presented one-sided, partial opinions in the debate on the use of genetically modified organisms in agriculture, repeatedly claiming that there was a scientific consensus about their safety".

Despite the Commission's change of heart, it is understood that Ms Glover will still be leaving the Commission at the end of this month.

Mr Duncan said: "I am delighted that the Commission has seen sense and reinstated this crucial post. Commissioner Timmermans clearly stated to my colleagues and I that the EU would continue to have a Chief Science Officer, which was not the position in November last year.

"The role of science has never been more important and for the EU to have done away with its Chief Scientist would have been hugely damaging and sent all the wrong signals. I am glad that the pressure exerted on the Commission has resulted in a u-turn, and a victory for informed European policy making."