MICHAEL Gove has claimed up to 40 per cent of SNP voters also voted for Brexit.

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster made the remarks during a Westminster committee session this afternoon.

He was speaking to MP Ronnie Cowan who had asked how it was fair that Scotland was leaving the EU when it voted not to during a session of the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee.

The MP For Inverclyde said: “These are extraordinary times because the people of Scotland voted to remain in the EU. So surely their voice has to be listened to?”

Mr Gove replied: “Well, to begin with, the people of Scotland also voted to remain in the United Kingdom…”

He added: “Scottish electors do have a say in the outcome, because they send superb Members of Parliament such as yourself to Westminster. The point I make is that one can't pick and choose referenda results.

“The people of Scotland had a referendum in which they voted to stay in the United Kingdom, the people of the United Kingdom had a referendum which they voted to leave the European Union.

He continued:” I think it is the case that between a third and 40 per cent of SNP voters voted to leave the European Union….”

HeraldScotland:

Mr Cowan challenged him saying he was “making up numbers” and asked how he came by the statistics.

Mr Gove replied: “Well, I think it is the case on the basis of looking at where votes were cast, but let's say it's only 20%... Let's assume that for a moment.

“How many SNP MPs in Westminster reflect that view, how many SNP MSPs reflect that view?

“The admirable Alex Neil reflects that view, great man that he is.

“So if we're talking about effective representation, then what about all those SNP voters who voted to leave? Who is speaking for them beyond Alex Neil and I think Jim Sillars?

“If we're going to talk about percentages then, you know, that's that seems to me to be a legitimate question as well.”

During the session, Mr Gove also announced that the long-awaited Dunlop report would be published at the same time as the Intergovernmental review, but stressed it was not something Westminster was “embarrassed about”.

The report into ‘UK Union capability’ was completed last year and has been lying on the Prime Minister’s desk ever since.

The UK Government has come under pressure to publish the report, which is understood to advise them to appoint a ‘union tsar’ among other things to strengthen relationships between all four nations of the UK.