Former Scottish health secretary Alex Neil has claimed it is not a “good idea” to allow civil servants who have a “vested interest” in the Union to work on the Scottish Government's prospectus for independence. 

The ex-SNP MSP said the papers should be prepared by the independence movement.

The comments have been criticised by the FDA, the civil service union, who described them as "disrespectful."

READ MORE: SNP has been 'captured' by British state agents claims former MSP

Mr Neil was speaking to the Times following claims by ex SNP MSP Campbell Martin that MI5 had compromised the party. 

Mr Neil said: “I absolutely believe the Scottish government has every right to use resources to prepare and present its independence case.

“But as somebody who wants to win the next referendum, I never thought it was a great idea to have the British civil service preparing the prospectus for independence.

"If there are operatives operating then clearly they would be feeding a lot of the information back, at an early stage, to their masters in London.

“I have always thought that the independence prospectus should be prepared by the independence movement and not by people who have a vested interest in the unionist side winning the next referendum.”

Mr Neil added: “The civil service is not even a devolved service.

"It is entirely controlled, in terms of the legalities of it, by Westminster. Why would you get these people to write the case for independence when their bosses are in London? My view is that we should be wary.”

READ MORE: Humza Yousaf's 27-strong Indy paper entourage branded 'an outrage'

Allan Sampson, national officer for the FDA civil service union, said: “It is legitimate for Alex Neil to call for party affiliates and supporters to develop party policy, but to accuse the Scottish government’s own civil servants of having a vested interest and acting in contravention of the civil service code is deeply disrespectful and insulting,” he said.

“The civil service serves the government of the day, regardless of colour, and civil servants working in the devolved administrations serve devolved ministers in line with the core principles of honesty, integrity and impartiality.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson rejected the claims. They told The National: “It is the role of the civil service to support the elected government of the day in developing and implementing its policies.”