NICOLA Sturgeon’s government is arrogant, overbearing and the most centralising administration Scotland has seen, David Mundell has said.

The Scottish Secretary suggests the best way to avoid a one-party state is to vote Conservative in May.

He also accused the First Minister and her colleagues of putting their “independence obsession” before Scotland’s best interests in the in/out debate on EU membership, claiming that Ms Sturgeon has now “backed away” from saying Brexit would be an automatic trigger for a second independence referendum.

Scotland’s only Conservative MP claimed that, after several years in power in Edinburgh, the SNP had sucked all control towards itself in a strategy that was the very opposite of the process which the UK Government was now embarked upon.

“We’ve had the most centralising government we’ve ever had in Scotland and there is deep resentment of that,” said Mr Mundell.

“In many cases, you have a one-size-fits-all approach when policing rural Dumfries and Galloway is quite different from the policing needs of central Glasgow.”

Mr Mundell, who will use a speech in Scotland on Monday to elaborate on the themes of over-centralisation and the need for ‘double devolution’ in Scotland, that is, Edinburgh handing more powers to local authorities, argued that the Nationalists had been more centralising than Westminster had ever been under any party.

As David Cameron continues to seek a “good deal” for Britain in his renegotiation talks on EU membership, the Scottish Secretary was scathing about the SNP’s approach to the issue, saying it once again showed how Ms Sturgeon and her colleagues saw everything through the “prism of independence”.

An SNP spokesman said: “Given that David Mundell snubbed every attempt to devolve more powers to create and protect jobs, and lift people out of poverty during the Scotland Bill process, it’s a bit rich for him to complain about centralising powers – he wants all powers to rest at Westminster.

"Against a backdrop of cuts from the UK Government, the SNP Government has implemented policies aimed at growing our economy, protecting public services, tackling inequality and empowering communities and we have set out to be the most open and accessible government that Scotland has had.”