A FORMER Tory councillor representing a ward in Ruth Davidson’s constituency has come out in favour of Scottish independence.

Ashley Graczyk, the councillor for the Sighthill and Gorgie ward in Edinburgh, published a statement on Thursday morning detailing her journey from No to Yes.

READ: Former Tory councillor's journey from No to Yes in full

The SNP said this was hugely embarrassing for Davidson.

The Tories, who thought Graczyk was more likely to join Labour, said they were surprised and called for her to resign and force a by-election.

In her statement, Graczyk, who is deaf, told of how she became disillusioned with the party and government after they refused to release the Access to Elected Office Fund to support disabled candidates.

She said: “I witnessed disabled people throughout the UK who would have loved but were unable to stand as MP candidates, including Scottish candidates, as they could not afford the support needs thanks to the Access to Elected Office Fund UK being reserved (had it been devolved it is likely the Scottish candidates would have had received funding from the Scottish government).”

LETTERS: From No thanks to Yes please ... my journey to backing Scotland

Describing her journey to backing independence, the councillor, who quit the Tories in July, said that “over time, it became glaringly obvious to me the absurdity of reserved matters being dealt with by Westminster and not by the Scottish Government (bear in mind I voted No), as Scotland is capable of governing on reserved matters too”.

She added: “I came to the realisation that to preserve and protect the values we have in Scotland we cannot have policies imposed on us from Westminster that jar with the kind of Scotland we are trying to build. So simply, we need independence.”

The SNP MP for Edinburgh South West, Joanna Cherry, said this was “yet another signal that more and more people are ready to reject a Brexit UK in favour of an independent Scotland”.

The National: The SNP’s Joanna Cherry said no EU national should suffer. Photograph: Getty

She added: “When people come face to face with the human impact of cruel and uncaring Tory policies that can lead them to seriously re-examine their views.

“Across Edinburgh, 1240 disabled people have lost financial support because of Tory cuts.

“It’s no wonder people like councillor Graczyk are saying enough is enough – and others inside the Tory party who are questioning their consciences should stand up and be counted.”

According to newspaper reports, Graczyk has indicated that she will join the SNP.

Councillor Jason Rust, Chair of the Edinburgh Tory Group pointed The National towards a tweet by Graczyk posted just four months ago attacking the SNP.

That read: “SNP gov finds British values (democracy, rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance for those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith) offensive cos it contradicts SNP vision: centralisation, Named Person, Catalonia’s illegal ref to name but a few.”

Rust said: “A few months ago councillor Graczyk was in discussions with Labour and this month she has found her nationalist voice.

“However, I think residents will feel short changed and that councillor Graczyk was effectively elected under false pretence if she suddenly emerges as a Nationalist councillor, having fought on a very clear Conservative and Unionist platform a year ago.

“Clearly she should do the right thing and resign her seat and seek a new mandate should she wish to continue.”