A TORY MSP has hit back at an SNP rival over the issue of air monitoring at schools.

Maurice Golden said it was "disappointing" Gil Paterson would brand his concerns as "scaremongering".

The Scottish Conservative member raised the issue for Clean Air Day in the Post last week, calling for air quality monitors in every school in Scotland.

But Mr Paterson, the MSP for Clydebank, replied: “Is Mr Golden really suggesting that this would be the best use of scarce resources which he would cut even further at the first possible opportunity?

“Air pollution is a serious issue and it has to be tackled, but it has to be tackled sensibly not with foolish, headline-grabbing statements."

Mr Golden said he was "surprised" by Mr Paterson's reaction.

He said: "I certainly would not call it scaremongering to show concern for our children’s health and I hope that this is an issue that can taken extremely seriously.

“Mr Paterson’s comments are disappointing because taking action to improve public health, especially that of our children, should not be a party political issue.

“I hope that Gil Paterson can reflect on his comments and look again at the importance of air quality monitoring.”