The SNP has accused Scottish Tory Leader Douglas Ross of being “engulfed in Tory cronyism” – after admitting to directing thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money to a personal friend when he was an MSP.
In an interview with the Herald, Douglas Ross confirmed he used Holyrood expenses – footed by the taxpayer – to cover £7,000 worth of rent on an Edinburgh flat which was half-owned by a refereeing colleague.
The property in question – valued at £265,000 – was initially bought by Ross’ referee chum Hugh Dallas and another individual in December 2016.
The revelation comes amid an ongoing scandal engulfing the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who reportedly failed to declare payments for the refurbishment of his Downing Street flat.
Commenting, SNP candidate for Paisley, George Adam, said:
“While the SNP is focussed on getting Scotland through and out of the pandemic, with immediate plans to support the NHS, protect jobs and help our young people, the Tories cannot escape the stench of sleaze around them.
“Douglas Ross now finds himself engulfed in the Tory sleaze scandal that he hoped to dodge, using taxpayers’ money to pay rent to a close friend whose property appears to have been rented out just as Douglas Ross got elected.
“The sleaze pouring out of the Tories right now shows that the Nasty Party is back – and they cannot be trusted to hold public office.
“Whether it’s COVID contract for cronies, donations for decorating, texts for tax breaks, or renting from referees – a culture of sleaze has consumed the Tories.
“Scotland deserves better than this.
“On 6th May, Scotland has the option to choose a different path – a path that doesn’t involve Tory sleaze and cronyism.
“It is only with Both Votes SNP that Scotland’s future can be in Scotland’s hands.”