RUTH Davidson has thrown her weight behind calls for an Amazon tax on online retailers.

The Scottish Conservative leader said it was something Chancellor Philip Hammond “should get his department’s brightest minds to look at immediately”.

It comes after Mr Hammond confirmed he was thinking of introducing a special tax on online businesses in a bid to help struggling high street retailers.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Ms Davidson said: “The Chancellor, Philip Hammond, warned last week that imposing some kind of sales tax on online retailers could require the rewriting of international treaties.

“He also suggested it was something he was willing to examine – going so far as to say Britain could pioneer its own, temporary, measures until agreement could be reached.

“It’s something he should get his department’s brightest minds to look at immediately.

“The advance of online firms was designed to offer customers a new way to do business.

“But if there isn’t a more even playing field between traditional and online businesses, then internet shopping might become the only choice we have.”

Mr Hammond previously suggested a tax on online businesses based on value generated could be the way forward.

His comments came as department store House of Fraser fell into administration before being bought over by Sports Direct tycoon Mike Ashley.

Business leaders have warned the tax burden on high street shops is disproportionately high.

Ms Davidson said: “The retail sector currently makes up 5 per cent of the UK economy but pays 25% of all business rates, over £7 billion per year.”