MICHAEL Gove is facing questions over whether the UK Government "doctored" its no-deal planning document to downplay its potential impact.

The Cabinet office minister was forced to release the five-page Operation Yellowhammer file on Wednesday night after a vote by MPs last week.

He said the document, which warned of shortages of some foods, medicines and civil unrest if the UK crashed out on October 31, “detailed a reasonable worst case scenario”.

The paper was also titled “HMG Reasonable Worst Case Planning Assumptions”.

However Nicola Sturgeon revealed in Holyrood that the version given to the Scottish Government by Whitehall was labelled a “base scenario”, suggesting it was the starting point for no-deal assumptions, rather than a worst case.

The LibDems called on Mr Gove to issue an immediate statement about the change.

Ms Sturgeon told MSPs: “The publication of the Yellowhammer planning assumptions yesterday lays bare for the public the horrors of a no-deal Brexit.

“It is shocking that it has taken so long for the information to be published.”

She said the title change was the “only difference” between the version sent to the Scottish Government and the version released by Mr Gove.

She said: “The only difference that I can confirm is in the title of the document. The version that we had, had the title ‘Base’ scenario rather than “Reasonable Worst Case” scenario, which is what appeared on the document that was published last night.

“It is for the United Kingdom Government to explain whether there is any significance to that difference.”

Her official spokesman later described the difference as “puzzling” and “curious”.

When the Yellowhammer document was leaked to the Sunday Times last month, it was also titled a “base scenario”, rather than a worst case.

After the journalist who broke the story highlighted the new title on the Yellowhammer document, Mr Gove tweeted she was mistaken.

He wrote: “I fear @RosamundUrwin is persisting in an error - Yellowhammer is a reasonable worst case scenario - which we have taken more steps to mitigate - worth checking out evidence to DEXEU select committee for full story.”

He also criticised LibDem MP Luciana Berger, saying she was “wrong” about the document being a “base scenario”.

He tweeted: “Yellowhammer is a reasonable worst case scenario NOT our base case of what will happen…”

Scottish LibDem leader Willie Rennie said: “The Conservatives have been caught red handed. They have doctored the Yellowhammer report just before publication in order to minimise the political damage to them.

“This is reprehensible but all too predictable from this cavalier Conservative Government.

“Michael Gove needs to issue an immediate statement with the original document which has not been doctored.”

The SNP said Mr Gove now had to answer three key questions:

·         Why when the documents were leaked last month to the Sunday Times, did Michael Gove dismiss it as an “old document” saying the work had moved on when the papers published yesterday are the most recent version of the Yellowhammer assumptions?

·         Why did the title of the document change from “base scenario” when it was circulated to “reasonable worst case planning assumptions” when it was published?

·         Why was a section, which the Sunday Times journalist who received the document has made clear was on refineries and fuel availability, redacted? And does the redacted section represent the most recent assumption?

SNP MP Tommy Sheppard said: "The Tory government may have shut down Parliament to avoid scrutiny, but it cannot continue to duck from its responsibilities or accountability over its chaotic and damaging Brexit plans.

“The Yellowhammer documents have exposed not just the devastating impact an extreme Tory Brexit will have on the UK, but it has also exposed Michael Gove’s conflicting and misleading remarks over the nature of the documents.

“Michael Gove – the government minister charged with no-deal planning – previously dismissed the documents as old, but it has now been revealed to have been drafted up after Boris Johnson and Michael Gove took office and to be the most recent version of the Yellowhammer planning assumptions.

“And while the document is identical to the leaked version over a month ago, the government has appeared to have changed the title from a base case scenario to ‘reasonable worst-case'.

"There are serious questions to be asked of Michael Gove about what appear to be intentionally misleading comments - he must come clean. 

"This is a rogue Tory government that has lost all authority, Boris Johnson must immediately recall Parliament and his government must be held to account."