Scottish Conservative chairman Craig Hoy has hit out at colleagues after an MSP told press that the election campaign was “the most inept, shambolic” in the party’s history.

He insisted the “vast majority” of the Holyrood group were behind the leadership.

The party was, he added, running a “positive campaign.”


Mr Hoy was speaking to The Herald on Monday morning as he unveiled a new ad-van in Clarkston in the East Renfrewshire constituency, urging voters to back the Tories to defeat the SNP.

The party faces a battle to hold on to the six Scottish seats won in 2019, with Nigel Farage’s Reform eating into their vote.

One of the closest battles will be in Aberdeenshire North and Moray East where the result is a tossup between Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross and the SNP’s Seamus Logan.

Mr Ross' selection as the Scottish Tory candidate was controversial.

The Party’s Management Board stopped former Scottish Office minister David Duguid from contesting the new seat as they claimed he was too ill - a claim the former MP disputed.

Mr Ross then announced his intention to “lead from the front” and stand instead, despite previously promising not to stand for Westminster and concentrate on Holyrood. 

The outcry led to him announcing his resignation as Scottish Tory leader. 

One Tory MSP told The Times: “This has been the most inept, shambolic Scottish Tory campaign in history, marked by disastrous errors from the top.

“Hard-working candidates across Scotland have been badly let down. No one involved in the leadership of the campaign should ever be allowed near one again.

“The entire party establishment needs to be cleared out after polling day and some grown-ups put in charge.”

Mr Hoy told The Herald: “Well, I would say to those who are briefing the media on this anonymous basis, that that's not the view of our members. It's not the view of the doorsteps I've been on.

“And it's not the view of the vast majority of my colleagues at Holyrood. We've got a positive campaign.

“We've also pointed out that line one page one of the SNP's manifesto is about independence, but we're going out on the doorsteps over the next 72 hours, to make sure that we get the message out that in seats from the north east to the south west and including here in East Renfrewshire, if you want to beat the SNP to keep the SNP out then the only way to do that is to vote Scottish Conservative and Unionist and that's the crux of our campaign.

“And that's the message we will continue to push between now and Thursday.”


Swinney won't stand down as SNP leader whatever the result

Mr Hoy said the party had “fully supported our candidates.”

Asked if he would consider his position if the party had a bad night on Thursday, he replied: “Well, firstly, we’re still 72 hours away. I've got to travel the country between now and then to knock on a lot of doors, to deliver a lot of leaflets to support our candidates and to thank our members, and then we'll see what the election brings on Thursday.

“But we are going to be pointing out each and every hour of each and every day between now and then that in those seats that we're targeting and in those seats that we hold, it's a straight fight between us and the SNP.

“And if anybody votes, Reform or any other party or stays at home then the SNP, will win in those seats. They're very, very close. And that's what I'm focused on between now and Thursday.”