Struggling Scots Tory leader Douglas Ross has been dropped to the “subs bench” on his party election leaflets.
Predecessor Ruth Davidson’s mug appears on the front page of a Tory flyer while the part-time referee only appears inside.
Scottish Labour deputy leader Jackie Baillie said: “Douglas Ross is used to spending time on the sidelines – but it’s now clear even his own party thinks he should be put on the subs bench.”
It appears Ross is living in the shadow of high-profile Davidson, who also used to be leader but has quit the Scottish Parliament to take a seat in the House of Lords.
A leaflet landing through letterboxes includes a picture of her, not Ross, on the front page.
It states: “Inside: Ruth Davidson on how to stop the SNP and another referendum here.”
Ross, by contrast, languishes on page two. Voters in Strathkelvin and Bearsden, as well as Dumbarton, confirmed to the Record they had received the leaflet.
Ross took over as leader last year after MSP Jackson Carlaw was persuaded to stand down.
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However, the party’s poll ratings have stalled and Ross is in danger of losing second place at Holyrood to Labour.
A car crash TV performance during this week’s leaders’ debate piled pressure on him.
Ross, an MP who is standing for Holyrood, was panned after he tried to shoe-horn his opposition to indyref2 into non-constitutional issues and he was outshone by Labour chief Anas Sarwar.
One Tory candidate told the Record: “He was not good enough.”
Baillie, who is fighting the Dumbarton seat for Labour, added: “Scotland and Dumbarton deserve better than the Scottish Conservatives, who even in the wake of the pandemic think politics is nothing more than a game. That means leaving behind the old arguments and concentrating on what unites us, not what divides us.”
Toni Giugliano, SNP candidate for Dumbarton, said Tory candidate Maurice Corry had “chosen to namecheck Baroness Davidson before she slopes off to the unelected Lords to distance himself from the unmentionable Douglas Ross”.
He added: “People in Dumbarton and across Scotland face a choice, whether to put Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands or the hands of Boris Johnson.”
A Scottish Conservative spokesman said: “As leader of Scotland’s largest opposition party, Douglas Ross will continue fighting against the SNP’s divisive referendum plans while weak Labour would rather play silly games.”