THE SNP’s Westminster leader and chief whip face bruising internal selection battles under new boundary changes.

The Boundary Commission for Scotland’s final maps also throw up candidacy fights among sitting Scottish Tory MPs for the first time in more than 20 years.

However the changes, which would see Scotland lose six of its 59 MPs as part of a cull of 50 of Westminster’s 650 MPs, are unlikely to get parliamentary approval in the near future.

Theresa May is expected to delay a vote in case the proposals compound Tory strains over Brexit.

The changes would also abolish the seats of UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and former Brexit Secretary David Davies, and make it harder for former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson to defend his 5,000-vote majority.

The SNP, which would be the biggest loser under the Scottish changes, called for the plan to be scrapped, while Labour branded it an “undemocratic power grab”.

If enacted, SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford in Skye would could be pitted against Inverness MP Drew Hendry for the party’s candidacy in Highland Central.

Westminster chief whip Patrick Grady would also lose his Glasgow North seat, putting him up against fellow MP Carol Monaghan for the Glasgow North West candidacy.

Joanna Cherry QC would lose her Edinburgh South West seat, meaning either a fight with fellow SNP MP Hannah Bardell for the candidacy in an expanded Livingston, or taking on LibDem MP Christine Jardine or Labour MP Ian Murray in neighbouring Edinburgh seats.

With the loss of the Central Ayrshire seat, the SNP's Dr Philippa Whitford could face a choice between fighting Tory MP Bill Grant in Ayr, or challenging SNP neighbours Patricia Gibson or Alan Brown for a candidacy.

Former SNP deputy leader Stewart Hosie would see his Dundee East seat become Angus South and Dundee East, meaning a fight with sitting Tory MP Kirstene Hair.

In the North East, three Tory seats become two, with Andrew Bowie in West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine up against Colin Clark in Gordon or Ms Hair in Angus.

Mr Bowie could also try to plant a flag in neighbouring Aberdeen South, held by gaffe-prone Tory MP Ross Thompson.

There is also the potential scrap between Stirling Tory Stephen Kerr and Ochil & South Perthshire Tory Luke Graham over the new Stirling, Strathearn & Kinross seat.

Only three seats are unchanged since the last overhaul in 2005 - Na h-Eileanan an Iar and Orkney & Shetland, which are protected by law, and East Lothian.

All UK seats, except very large rural ones, would have between 71,000 and 78,500 electors.

The largest Scottish seat would be Highland North, at just under 13,000 square kilometres, and the smallest Glasgow Central, at 20 square kilometres.

SNP MP Tommy Sheppard said: “ These proposed plans would see Scotland’s representation at Westminster slashed by over 10 per cent, with Scottish MP voices further diminished in a Parliament that looks increasing like it’s set up to work against those protecting Scotland’s interests.

“For the mainland Highlands - which has a geographic area one and a half times the size of Wales - to be cut down to just two constituencies, as this report recommends, is ludicrous.

“There is no appetite for these changes at present, and I am confident that these proposals won’t see the light of day.

“At a time when it is more important than ever to hold this hapless Tory Government to account, Theresa May wants to cut the number of Scottish MPs at Westminster. "It is completely unacceptable that the Tories consider boundary changes a priority when they have their own chaotic Brexit to deal with."

Shadow Scottish Secretary Lesley Laird said the plans were based on 2015 data that excluded nearly 2m new voters and would bolster the Tories.

She said: “It is frankly astonishing that in the midst of their chaotic Brexit negotiations the Tories are still even contemplating pushing this nakedly partisan agenda.

“Scotland has an important role to play in shaping post-Brexit Britain yet is being treated as collateral damage in this process. And as powers flow back from Brussels, Parliament's capacity to examine extra legislation will be seriously diminished while its ability to challenge the Government is weakened.

"This is not good for the people, not good for democracy and the Boundary Commission must be allowed to take into account significant changes to the electoral roll, and the post-Brexit landscape. This proposal must be rejected."

Scottish Tory MSP Maurice Golden said: “These plans could have suggested quadrupling the number of Scottish MPs and still the SNP would have found a grievance.

“This ridiculous intervention is motivated purely by the desire to create an impression that Scotland is being under-represented, and that’s all big, bad London’s fault.

“In fact, Scotland is extremely well-represented not just in Westminster, but by having one of the most powerful devolved parliaments in the world.”

Lord Matthews, deputy chair of the Boundary Commission for Scotland, said: “We believe our final recommendations meet the requirements of the legislation governing the review and within those constraints fairly reflect the views expressed to us during our consultations".