A WEALTHY Tory MSP has scaled back the amount of time he is putting into his businesses amid a growing row over Conservative double-jobbing.

Sir Edward Mountain, whose assets are worth nearly £5 million, has reduced the number of hours he puts in at his lucrative fishing and farming businesses.

The Tories became the official Opposition to the SNP after May, but the Nationalists have criticised Conservative MSPs for juggling parliamentary duties and outside work.

Tory justice spokesman Douglas Ross was criticised for missing important Holyrood business due to football refereeing duties, which land him around £40,000 a year in fees and expenses on top of his £60,685 MSP salary.

Mountain, a baronet and landowner and MSP for Highlands and Islands, has extensive outside interests that dwarf his parliamentary earnings. He is a partner in Moray-based Delfur Farms Farming Partnership (DFFP), for which he receives remuneration in the form of “utilities and insurance” of between £35,001 and £40,000.

The former soldier is also listed as a partner and 50 per cent owner of Delfur Fishings (DF), receiving £14,000 in 2016.

However, Mountain’s original register of interest stated that he would spend between five and six hours a week working for DFFP and two hours a week on DF.

He has now changed his DFPP declaration to between two and four hours and restricted his DF work to an hour every week.

The registered income has remained at the same level.

A Scottish Tory spokesman said: “Edward’s manager has now been in place for more than a year, and both are sufficiently comfortable with the arrangement that he can scale back his involvement as a result.”

An SNP spokesperson said: “Clearly, Edward Mountain has discovered being an MSP is a more onerous undertaking than he signed up for, and he’s now been forced to scale back his country pursuits.”