AN SNP MP has challenged the conservatives over their continued refusal to wear masks in Parliament.

Pete Wishart referred to Jacob Rees-Mogg, leader of the house of Commons, as “sir toff-a-lot” and urged him to wear a mask while travelling to the Tory conference in Manchester.

The MP for Perth and North Perthshire said: “I know now that there's absolutely nothing that will encourage Conservative members to take the safety of the college seriously in this house, and the pathetic defiance in refusing to wear a face mask is almost like a pathological childishness.”

HeraldScotland: Image: Roger Harris, ParliamentImage: Roger Harris, Parliament

He requested a meeting with party leaders following the conference recess “so we can agree a joint approach to safety in this workplace, so we at least don't have the ridiculous spectacle of a house divided by face masks, where they decide they won’t wear one and everybody on this side is wearing a face mask.”

Mr Wishart added: “ As he goes off, I just hope that Sir Toff-a-lot here will manage to find a face mask on his way to Manchester.”

HeraldScotland: Image: Roger Harris, ParliamentImage: Roger Harris, Parliament

However Mr Rees-Mogg referred to a Labour MP who had been photographed on a train without a mask, and said: “You do wonder if there is one rule when the cameras are on and everybody is under vision, and another when people are on the railway trains not expecting to be snapped.”

Last week Mr Rees-Mogg indicated that Labour and the SNP could avoid the need to wear masks if they 'worked harder. 

He suggested that Conservative MPs did not need to wear masks because they were regularly in the House of Commons with one another, and therefore were not 'strangers'.

He said: "The advice from Her Majesty's Government on face coverings is that they are not required by law in the workplace, and the government removed the legal requirement to wear face coverings in public places in indoor spaces.

"If you are in a crowded indoor space where you come into contact with people you don't normally meet, wearing a face covering can help reduce the spread of Covid.

"Is it not interesting that he, and perhaps this applies to the nationalists generally, do not normally meet other MPs? Perhaps, this is because they are not very assiduous in their attendance in the House of Commons?"