Speaking on Monday evening during the inaugural meeting of the Strand Group, a lecture series, organized by the Policy Institute of Kings College, Nicholas Macpherson told the audience that in the "extreme" case presented by the Scottish independence referendum where, "people are seeking to destroy the fabric of the state" and "impugn its territorial integrity," the rules, set down in the civil service code that demand impartiality "do not apply."
"These comments are astounding," Hosie, of the pro-Scottish independence SNP said in a statement.
"This is a very serious admission and it begs the question: when will this UK government next abandon impartiality? We expect the highest standards from senior civil servants. With this admission, it is clear they have fallen short," Hosie added. "At a time when the UK and Scottish Governments should be able to work in good faith on more powers, this raises serious questions about Scotland's ability to have any confidence in the role of the Treasury."
Hosie has written to the UK Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood, demanding to know when it is acceptable for the UK civil service to suspend its own rules governing impartiality.
Scottish voters went to the polls on September 18 and voted 55 per cent to 45 per cent to remain part of the UK.