THERESA May has accused Nicola Sturgeon of being undemocratic and dishonest about Brexit in order pursue her “obsession” with independence.

In a prolonged attack at the Scottish Tory conference, Mrs May said the First Minister had never been interested in compromise, only in using the Leave vote for her own ends.

The Prime Minister also said her party would always support the Union -  as appealed for unity inside in her own party as it feuds over Brexit.

After the Tories lost more than 1200 councillors in disastrous local elections in England, Mrs May was heckled in Wales by a party member who called on her to resign.

Read more: SNP MP's anger over vote against independence claims

However she received a warmer reception for her 18-minute speech in Aberdeen, where she contrasted her approach to the Scottish and EU referendums with Ms Sturgeon’s

She told around 500 delegates: “I have an old fashioned belief that in a democracy, if you put a question to the people, you should respect the answer they give you.

“That seems to be a pretty big difference between Nicola Sturgeon and me.

“Not only does she want to re-run the independence referendum because she did not like the decision of the people of Scotland, she also wants to re-run the EU referendum because she did not like the decision of the people of the UK.”

Read more: 'I'd happily never see another referendum on Scottish independence in my lifetime' says Ruth Davidson

In the aftermath of the EU referendum, the SNP Government produced a detailed report suggesting a Brexit compromise based on single market and customs union membership, and SNP MPs recently voted in favour of similar ultra-soft Brexit at Westminster.

But Mrs May claimed Ms Sturgeon had never wanted compromise, only camouflage.

She said: “On the morning after the vote, before the dust had even begun to settle, before any serious discussions could take place, the First Minister invited the television cameras into Bute House to put the most divisive issue in Scottish politics back ‘on the table’.

“I would have welcomed a First Minister of Scotland who wanted to work with me to deliver a good Brexit deal for the UK.

“But I knew from the start that Nicola Sturgeon was not interested in that outcome.  

“She saw Brexit as an opportunity to further her party’s obsession with one thing and one thing only - independence.”

Read more: Ruth Davidson wants Scottish independence ‘off the table once and for all’

In a minimal reference to her own party’s turmoil over Brexit, she praised the 13 Scots Tory MPs for backing her deal and said: “If others had followed-suit, we would be leaving the EU on 22 May. But they did not, and we have had to face up to that fact. So we have had to reach out to the official opposition to secure cross-party support for a deal.”

In a fringe event earlier, delegates jeered the idea of Boris Johnson becoming PM.

Addressing fears her successor might not be as committed to the Union, Mrs May said: “A Conservative government will always put the interests of our Union first.

“I am convinced that the future that awaits us is a bright one, that huge prizes are to be won by a country of our talent and ambition.

“We will only reach that bright future if we stand together - together as a party.”

Read more: Next PM should continue to block independence referendum, says Ruth Davidson

With Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson using the conference as a launchpad for the 2021 Holyrood election, Mrs May said a Scottish Tory government would deliver results instead of more constitutional wrangling.

She said: “Just imagine if Scotland had a government that put as much energy into improving Scotland’s hospitals as the SNP put into chasing independence.

“A government as focused on boosting Scotland’s economy as the SNP is on internal debates about the hypothetical currency of an independent Scotland.”