THE SNP has deleted a social media post calling Scottish Conservative leadership hopeful Douglas Ross racist.

The party had insisted the Moray MP has a "long history of racist views", referring to comments he previously made about Scotland's traveller community. 

However the social media post has now been deleted. The SNP's website still refers to his "abhorrent views".

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HeraldScotland: The SNP's deleted tweetThe SNP's deleted tweet

Mr Ross was criticised in 2017 after he said he would like to see "tougher enforcement against gypsy travellers" if he was Prime Minister for the day.

He made the comment in a YouTube interview. 

Asked about the SNP's original social media post, a spokesman for Douglas Ross said: “It’s disappointing that the SNP are choosing to stoop to this kind of thing. 

"Douglas is going to remain focused on his positive message of ending the last decade of division and setting out an ambitious plan to move Scotland forward.”

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An SNP spokeswoman said: "Douglas Ross received widespread criticism for his inflammatory and divisive comments about gypsy/travellers, including from Amnesty International."

The party did not address why it had deleted the social media post.

Mr Ross is expected to be confirmed as the next Scottish Conservative leader tomorrow following Jackson Carlaw's resignation.

Former leader Ruth Davidson will stand in for him at First Minister's Questions until he secures a seat in Holyrood.