RUTH Davidson has been signed up to appear on ITV’s General Election night coverage – for an “unprecedented” sum of money.

Broadcast sources claim the former Scottish Conservatives leader had been approached by the BBC to join their election night programming only to discover she had already agreed to appear on the independent network’s main UK-wide coverage.

A source said the payment on offer was “unprecedented” for such a stint, while politicians say it is "highly unusual" for a serving elected member to be paid at all.

Neil Findlay, Labour MSP, said the revelations made him "sick" and that Davidson was reinforcing "the perception that all politicians are on the make".

Davidson refused to confirm how much she had been offered to appear on the channel when asked by The Herald on Sunday, but a source said the amount was such that the BBC was unable to compete with the offer.

She said she would make any declaration “in line with parliamentary rules” after the programme.

A Scottish Conservatives spokesman said the former leader, who is expected to stand down from the Scottish Parliament before the 2021 elections, had agreed to make a range of media appearances over the General Election period, including on ITV.

Several politicians and broadcast journalists contacted by this newspaper said it was uncommon for politicians to be paid at all while appearing on political coverage shows, unless they were a regular guest.

Alex Neil, a longstanding SNP MSP who has taken part in several programmes over General Elections, said he had not once been paid for his attendance.

He said: “It is highly unusual for serving politicians to be paid, and I certainly have never been paid.”

The stint has been criticised by Labour’s Neil Findlay, who has been campaigning to stop politicians from taking second jobs, saying it “reinforces” the public perception that “all politicians are on the make”.

The Lothian MSP said: “This is absolutely extraordinary, that we now have a backbench MSP so hungry for cash she cannot even provide comments on national TV about the election without demanding payment for it.

“This demeans politics and reinforces the perception that all politicians are on the make.

“It makes me sick. I have never heard of a politician being paid to talk about politics, while they are still a serving politician.”

SNP MP Tommy Sheppard also hit out at the pundit deal, saying: “It seems that the only job Ruth Davidson doesn’t want is as a constituency MSP.

“Let’s just hope that Ruth Davidson can hide her disappointment as Scotland decides to boot Boris Johnson out of Downing Street by voting SNP on December 12.”

Last month Davidson, a former BBC journalist, confirmed she was taking up an unpaid role with ITV on a newly-formed mental health advisory group.

The group was created following the deaths of participants on the Jeremy Kyle Show and Love Island, with the group said to be aimed at protecting the mental health of both audience members and participants on both ITV and STV shows.

It comes just weeks after Davidson was forced to back-track on accepting a £2,00-a-day PR job with Tulchan Communications.

The firm, run by former Tory Party chairman Andrew Feldman, offered Davidson a senior adviser role, paying £50,000 for 24 days’ work, which she was planning to do alongside her £63,579-a-year job as an MSP

After the announcement, Davidson faced calls to resign over the move with critics claiming the job was unethical.

Angus Robertson, former SNP Westminster leader, said it was “unethical and incompatible to serve as a legislator while also working for a PR firm”.

After days of criticism and public outcry over the announcement, Davidson said she was no longer accepting the PR job despite it complying with the law.

She said in an interview: “I thought I was doing everything within the letter of the law, within the rules of the Parliament. It seems that the perception is more important to some people than the actuality. If I’m being forced to choose by my opponents … My choice is that I’m going to stay committed to the Parliament here, which I have served in for nearly a decade.”

A spokesman for the Scottish Conservatives said: “Ruth will be doing a range of media in and around the General Election – any payment received will be properly declared in accordance with Scottish Parliament rules.”

ITV did not respond when contacted for comment.