NICOLA Sturgeon has been rebuked by a Tory MSP for using his private life to score political points.

At FMQs, Oliver Mundell asked the First Minister to stop trying to “politicise my family life” and said he would never do that to her. 

It followed the Dumfriesshire MSP announcing on Monday that he was leaving the Tory shadow cabinet and his role as education spokesperson for “personal reasons”.

He said he wanted “a better balance when it comes to making time for my young family”. 

Later the same day the Scottish Tories announced Mid Scotland and Fife MSP Dean Lockhart was quitting Holyrood altogether after six years to “pursue a new role in business”.

At FMQs, Ms Sturgeon closed her exchange with Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross with a dig suggesting the two changes were signs of trouble in Conservative ranks.

She said: “I suspect Douglas Ross’s choice of topic today [the CalMac ferries scandal] is more a reflection on his own difficulties than anything else.

“After all, it’s not me that started this new parliamentary term with one MSP standing down from his frontbench and another MSP quitting parliament altogether.

“So perhaps he’s not got his own troubles to seek.”

The jibe was loudly applauded by the SNP benches.

Fifteen minutes later, Mr Mundell was called to ask a question about the NHS and began by raising Ms Sturgeon’s remark with her.

He said: “I would kindly ask the First Minister to not seek to politicise my family life just as I would never seek to do so when it comes to hers.”

After he had asked his question, Ms Sturgeon replied: “On Oliver Mundell’s first point, while I’m not sure there’s any aspect of my life that the Tories wouldn’t seek to politicise if they thought they could, I genuinely wish him well and do that in all sincerity.”