SCOTTISH Conservative leader Douglas Ross and senior SNP MP Pete Wishart have traded insults during a session of Westminster's Scottish Affairs Committee.

Mr Ross accused Mr Wishart of "inept and poor chairing", while Mr Wishart branded his comments "absolutely pathetic".

It came as the committee, which has been chaired by Mr Wishart since 2015, quizzed Scottish Secretary Alister Jack.

Mr Wishart had pressed Mr Jack on whether last week's Holyrood election result should mean a fresh vote on independence.

Mr Wishart said the result of the ballot was a "victory for the parties of pro-independence and pro-referendums", as the 64 SNP MSPs elected, along with the eight Greens, back a second vote on Scotland's place in the UK.

But Tories on the Westminster committee complained about the chair's choice of questions.

Called to ask a question, Mr Ross said: "I have to say at the outset how disappointed people must have been to watch the quite frankly inept and poor chairing of this committee so far by Mr Wishart."

Mr Wishart interrupted, adding: "There's no need at all to make attacks on the chair of this committee. 

"I've been elected by the House to chair this committee. Could you please just get on with addressing your questions."

Mr Ross hit back: "When you're so poor at your job I will personally attack you, because you have talked over witnesses repeatedly today."

Mr Wishart replied: "This is just absolutely pathetic. Will you please just get on with your questions without making any sort of erroneous attacks on the chair."

Mr Ross said: "Well, it's not erroneous if you are poor and inept."

Sounding increasingly angry, Mr Wishart responded: "Will you get on with your poor and inept questions, please, so we can get on with this session."

Mr Ross replied: "So our impartial chair has already decided that my questions will not be as good as his, and I think people will see yet again the SNP don't like to be criticised."

He later added: "Hopefully you can calm down now, chair, as I address my questions to the Secretary of State and the minister."

The row continued as Mr Wishart handed over to SNP MP Mhairi Black to ask a question, saying the committee could expect "much more civility" from her. 

Mr Ross again criticised Mr Wishart's "extremely poor performance as a convener and chair of this committee". 

Mr Wishart responded: "I think we’re just absolutely and utterly tired of these feeble and pathetic little casting of aspersions on the chairing of this committee. 

"It really is embarrassing for you Mr Ross."