Douglas Ross has been accused of “homophobia” after he criticised a council-run drag queen story hour for children.

The Scottish Tory leader described the event to be held at Elgin Library on Saturday as “totally inappropriate”, and has faced a backlash on social media over his opposition.

Mr Ross has been criticised for equating a drag queen reading stories for children as focusing on “gender or sexual identity”.

According to organisers, the event by Miss Lossie Mouth, also known as John Campbell, a teacher, aims to encourage children to enjoy reading through imaginative story times while promoting inclusion, diversity and acceptance.

Taking to Twitter, Mr Ross said: “It’s totally inappropriate to hold a show like this for kids under the age of six.

“Story time for babies and young kids shouldn’t focus on gender or sexual identity.

“That is common sense and on behalf of constituents who’ve contacted me, I’ve raised this with the council.”

The co-convener of the Aberdeen Greens, Guy Ingerson, said that Mr Ross’s view wasn’t “common sense” as he claimed, but was “homophobia”.

He added: “Drag queen story hours are no different to panto or a clown show, both considered acceptable.

“Parents are there with their kids to enjoy the colour of LGBT+ culture and hear a nice story, that’s all.”

Scottish Greens Equalities spokesperson Maggie Chapman said: “Douglas Ross is showing his true colours.

"He’s cast himself as a pantomime villain with his preposterous and narrow-minded attacks on a simple and innocent community event.

“Why would anyone want to stop children from learning about the joys of reading and books? Or about the diversity of our families and communities?

“Perhaps we should expect no better from a party that has defined itself against almost every step towards a more progressive and inclusive society."

She added: “Is Douglas Ross desperately scraping the barrel for more cynical culture war nonsense? Oh yes he is.

“How can the Tories lecture us about so-called ‘cancel culture’ in one breath and then demand the cancellation of a library event because they don’t like the look of the person doing the reading?

“It seems that the only book he’s interested in is the far right playbook - that’s clearly where this latest outburst comes from.”

A Moray Council spokesperson said: “We appreciate and accept that everyone has differing views on drag queens but believe our fun, lively and joyous celebration of reading and self-expression is a suitable way to encourage confidence in our young readers."

Mr Ross said: “Constituents in Moray have raised concerns about this event with me as their local MP, but clearly the Greens have no interest in having a grown-up discussion on this.

“Green MSPs constantly talk about using more respectful language in politics but then have resorted to saying raising concerns and constituent views is bigoted.

“I make no apologies for standing up for issues of importance to the people I represent in Moray, many of whom share my concern that this show is inappropriate for babies and young children.

“It is disappointing that the Greens have typically dismissed legitimate concerns out of hand.”