DOUGLAS Ross has been accusing of writing off his own party’s next manifesto after dismissing the documents as unread and little remembered.

Speaking at the Edinburgh Fringe, the Scottish Tory leader said he didn’t think anyone read the lists of policies and pledges, normally considered a binding contract with the electorate.

In the current Tory leadership race, Liz Truss has repeatedly attacked rival RIshi Sunak for raising national insurance as Chancellor despite a 2019 manifesto commitment not to do so.

However Discussing manifestos at the Pleasance EICC with podcast hosts Iain Dale and Jacqui Smith, Mr Ross said: “Does anyone ever remember what’s in a party’s manifestoes? Does anyone ever read them?

“I genuinely think manifestoes are written at the time, and as we’ve seen, global crises come up that change everything.

“We’re electing governments for the next five years. But no one really saw in the 2019 general election that we were going the Covid crisis that was going to change our politics so significantly and everything that’s happened in Ukraine snce then.”

Ms Smith put it to him that he was being “very dismissive” of manifestoes.

Mr Ross replied: “That would an audience question - who ever reads a manifesto?

“We do put a lof of effort into having big manifesto launches so journalists can go through it and ask really critical questions and difficult questions that no one thinks about and then you move on from that.”

Fellow guest Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar interjected: “Douglas is being really dismissive of his next manifesto.”

Mr Ross did not deny it, but said: “Also yours and everyone else’s in fairness.”

Mr Sarwar said: “But your own! It’s fair enough being dismissive of mine, but your own.”

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton said: “Douglas Ross has shown how little he thinks election promises matter.

“The Conservative party’s offer to voters has been revealed as totally hollow.”