THE award-winning Scottish author James Kelman has said that the British establishment is "keeping a lid" on Scottish writing, whilst elevating English writing.

In a new interview, Kelman, who won the Booker Prize in 1994, said that "there's no question that Scottish writers are by far the superior at the moment."

He says in an interview with the New Statesman, that Scottish writing is depicted as "genre fiction".

Kelman said he believed his own work "hasn't been properly sold" and he has been "perhaps marginalised."

He added “Tom Leonard is a major poet marketed as a ‘writer of phonetic Glaswegian’: no one is going to read him.

"On the other side of it, someone like Irvine Welsh is described as a phenomenon.

"What is safe about his work that allows him to be described like that?"

Kelman, whose recent works include Dirt Road and That Was A Shiver, said: "There’s no question that Scottish writers are by far the superior at the moment. Ali Smith, Alan Warner, Jenni Fagan – there’s no equivalent in England.

"I won’t embarrass them by naming them, the mediocre [English] writers.”

There is, he says, a deliberate “denial of aesthetic merit” of Scottish work.

Elsewhere in the interview, published this week, he says that Brexit was a coup for the British establishment.

He says: "The ruling elite and their diverse loyal orders have sought to exit the EU for years.

"The free movement of captial and the right to profit are the sole motivation.

"Laws and statutes that protect the individual hinder the accumulation of wealth."