Peter Cruddas, former Tory party co-treasurer, has been secretly filmed saying that the Conservatives should be seen campaigning to keep the union of Scotland and England, even if they would actually prefer independence, the Sunday Times has revealed.
It is the second embarrassment for the disgraced chairman, who was forced to step down last week after the "cash for access" scandal, which appeared to show him offering meeting with the Prime Minister in exchange for donations.
Cruddas appears to describe First Minister Alex Salmon as "the mad Scotsman" in the video and suggests that if the Conservatives "fake" opposition to Independence, they will be in stronger position to negotiate a deal if Scotland does vote for Independence in the planned 2014 referendum.
We as a party have to be seen to be fighting to keep the Union together. Even if we don’t agree with it, because at the end of it all, if the Scots say we’re out of here and they want to go independent, we can turn around and say it’s not what we wanted, it’s not what we campaigned for, you can’t have this, you can’t have that, and you can get on with it."
The Prime Minister is being pressed for an explanation by the SNP following the revelations, which the SNP described as a "bombshell".
Deputy Minister Nicola Strugeon told STV: “This is another bombshell for the Scottish Tories, who are isolated and irrelevant in the games being played by their London bosses."