DOUGLAS Ross has appointed an expert on gangsters and organised crime as his new spindoctor.

The respected crime reporter Russell Findlay was named today as Director of Communications for the Scottish Conservatives.

Mr Findlay was the victim of a doorstep acid attack in 2015 after investigating organised crime. 

Mr Ross said Mr Findlay would be part of an expanded press and policy operation in the run up to the 2021 Holyrood election. 

The Scottish Tory leader also confirmed former Tory MP Kirstene Hair, who admitted she was too indecisive to vote on Brexit, as his special adviser.

Mr Findlay has been a journalist for 27 years, working for the Scottish Sun, Sunday Mail and STV. 

In December 2015 he had sulphuric acid thrown in his face at his Glasgow home by career criminal William ‘Basil’ Burns, who was disguised as a postman, and narrowly escaped being blinded.

Mr Findlay later wrote a book about the incident and his work on organised crime.

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He has also written about the drugs war between the Lyons and Daniel clans in Glasgow.

In 2017, Ms Hair, then MP for Angus, admitted she hadn’t voted in the UK’s biggest democratic event in half a century as it was “very difficult”.

She said: “I took the decision not to vote on it. It was incredibly difficult. The first time I’ve never voted in my life.

“It was very difficult because you get two arguments, very strong on both sides.

“I just ultimately couldn’t make that decision and I thought I would therefore go with the will of the UK which, if I’m honest, I thought we would remain. But I left that to everyone else.”

Mr Ross said: “Russell has a huge breadth of experience across Scottish media and there are very few other journalists with his investigate instincts. I’m thrilled to have him on-board and I’m sure he will prove to be a huge asset to the party.

“Russell will head up an expanded, well-rounded Scottish Conservative team with the press and policy expertise to lead us into the election campaign firing on all cylinders.”

Former Scotland Office special adviser Elliot Roy becomes Mr Ross’s head of policy and former Department for Education special adviser Innes Taylor his head of manifesto. 

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Mr Findlay said: “After 27 years in newspaper and broadcast journalism, I am delighted to be taking up this post with the Scottish Conservatives.

“It is a privilege to be joining Douglas Ross and as he leads the party into next year's crucial Holyrood election."