RUTH Davidson has been branded an “embarrassment” after sending an EU election letter to voters which makes only a fleeting reference to Brexit and focuses almost exclusively on independence.

The letter from the Scottish Tories only mentions Brexit once but makes repeated references to the possibility of a second independence referendum.

It insists the European elections on May 23 will “be the only chance people have this year to cast a vote against another independence referendum, so please make yours count”.

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A spokesman for the Scottish Tories insisted the leaflet was “not our EU election address”, despite the fact it repeatedly mentions the vote on May 23, and was simply a letter sent to voters “following Nicola Sturgeon’s divisive proposal last month for a second independence referendum, potentially within the next 18 months”.

SNP candidate Christian Allard called the leaflet an “embarrassment”.

He said: "The Tories created the mess of Brexit and are now terrified of giving people in Scotland a choice over their future.

HeraldScotland:

"Ruth Davidson thinks she can get away without once mentioning Europe, Brexit or the Tory threat to our economy and household incomes. And she's ignoring the devastating impact of ending migration upon our NHS.

"The SNP won't shy away from the importance of these elections. Scotland's future lies in Europe, and a vote for the SNP is a vote to say No to Brexit."

The Tory election letter, which is signed by Ms Davidson, reads: “Scotland will vote in an election on 23rd of May and I am asking you to use your vote in that election to tell Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP that Scotland doesn’t want another independence referendum.”

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It adds: “The fact is that if they gain more seats at this election, Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP will twist the result to advance their overriding obsession of taking Scotland out of the United Kingdom.

"It could give them the excuse they want to claim there is public support for another referendum when we know the opposite is true."

The leaflet makes five references to the date of the vote but fails to say it is for the European Parliament.

A spokesman for the Scottish Conservatives said: “This is not our EU election address. It is a letter sent to voters following Nicola Sturgeon’s divisive proposal last month for a second independence referendum, potentially within the next 18 months.

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“Our election address will be sent to voters prior to the EU election on 23rd May. It will set out our message for that election – that we should respect the result of the EU referendum, deliver a sensible Brexit that works for Scotland and the whole UK, and tell Nicola Sturgeon – no more referendums.”