RUTH Davidson’s Scottish Tories have been rocked by yet another scandal after a council candidate was forced to apologise for xenophobic remarks.

Now at least SEVEN of the party’s candidates have found themselves making recent headlines for all the wrong reasons.

An SNP source told The National that it was clear these weren’t just “a couple of rogue candidates slipping through the net”, but rather was representative of the “systemic extremism” at the heart of Davidson’s party. A party spokesperson said the Tory leader needs to get to grips with the “racism scandal engulfing her party”.

In a now deleted tweet, Todd Ferguson, a Tory candidate in Dalry and West Kilbride in North Ayrshire seemed to suggest the views of his SNP rival were irrelevant as she comes from Holland.

“I asked the local #SNP candidate why they supported the break up of the UK, being Dutch. The answer I got was that her partner is Scottish,” he said.

He then followed it up with another tweet saying: “Perhaps she forgot Market Garden”, a reference to an allied military operation in the Second World War, where large swathes of Holland were liberated from the Nazis.

After The National alerted Scottish Tory HQ to the tweet, Ferguson deleted the comment, and posted an apology saying: “I sincerely apologise for a recent tweet of mine that may have caused offence. The tweet in question has since been deleted.”

A Tory spokesman said: “Todd Ferguson has apologised for any offence caused and deleted the post in question.”

Ferguson is far from the only Tory who has caused concerns. Ken MacBrayne, a candidate for the Tories in Benbecula, was suspended after party bosses were alerted to a series of vile comments about Nicola Sturgeon on his social media.

The 72-year-old described the SNP leader as a “stupid little cretin” and a “silly wee cow”.

He also asked: “Why can’t someone stick a cattle prod up her nether region?”

In one Facebook post, MacBrayne said: “It would please me no end if someone stuck a golf ball in Nicola Sturgeon’s mouth, tape [sic] it up and stick a bag over her head.”

This was a recurring theme of MacBrayne’s. In another post he wrote: “Wouldn’t it be a great idea if somebody stuck a dolop of duck tape over Nicola Sturgeons mouth and covered her head with a bag. After that they could deposit her in the middles [sic] of the Kalahari desert WITHOUT a compass. That way we would all get some peace from her constant braying about independence.”

His Facebook also contains a series of anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant entries, including a string of posts by extremists Britain First – one warning of a religious war in the UK and Europe.

Roxana Iancu, the party’s candidate in Glasgow Govan, home to Scotland’s biggest mosque, called for German Chancellor Angela Merkel to be hanged for her pro-Islam politics.

Donald Gatt, a former Ukip candidate, who switched to the Tories recently and is standing for the party in Keith and Cullen in Moray, called in 2015 for gun laws to be repealed as “the private individual must have the right to defend themselves”.

Candidate George McIntyre told Muslims concerned about gelatine in flu inoculations to “shut your whinging [sic] mouths, no wonder people get sick to the back teeth of you! If you are that way minded go and live in a Muslim country where you do not get any free preventive medication.

“Oh but you won’t do that will you…. ungrateful baskets I’m sick to the back teeth of them.”

Aberdeenshire hopeful Ron McKail shared posts from far-right groups, Britain First and the EDL on Facebook. Finally, Renfrewshire council wannabe Neill Graham has been forced to deny being a member of the BNP.

An SNP spokesman said: “The Tories are having serious problems with their candidates for May’s elections – having already had to suspend three people for racist and anti-Islamic rants on social media, being forced to apologise for others sharing Britain First posts, and not to mention nominating the former Ukip Scotland chairman a candidate in Stirling.

“Now, the Tories are once again arguing that EU nationals shouldn’t be allowed a voice in Scottish public life, having previously tried to silence Christian Allard on the basis of his nationality. The Tories are quickly becoming Scotland’s Ukip.

“This isn’t a case of a couple of rogue candidates slipping through the net — it’s systemic extremism at the very heart of Ruth Davidson’s party.

“As a matter of urgency she really needs to get to grips with the racism scandal engulfing the Tory council campaign.”