RUTH Davidson’s obsession with independence was laid bare yesterday when social media images emerged of a Tory leaflet which mentions either independence, Nicola Sturgeon, indyref2 or the SNP an astonishing 28 times in one page.

The leaflet put out by the party mentions Brexit once. Sturgeon said this proved they were a “one-trick pony which is now really limping”.

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The election letter, which is signed by Davidson, reads: “Scotland will vote in an election on 23rd of May and I am asking you to use your vote in that election to tell Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP that Scotland doesn’t want another independence referendum.”

It insists the European elections in two weeks’ time, which are only being held because Theresa May failed to get her Brexit deal through the Commons, will “be the only chance people have this year to cast a vote against another independence referendum, so please make yours count”.

It adds: “The fact is that if they gain more seats at this election, Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP will twist the result to advance their overriding obsession of taking Scotland out of the United Kingdom.

“It could give them the excuse they want to claim there is public support for another referendum when we know the opposite is true.”

The National: Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson also tried to avoid the topic of the European elections in her conference speechScottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson also tried to avoid the topic of the European elections in her conference speech

A spokesman for the Scottish Tories said: “This is not our EU election address. It is a letter sent to voters following Nicola Sturgeon’s divisive proposal last month for a second independence referendum, potentially within the next 18 months.

“Our election address will be sent to voters prior to the EU election on 23rd May. It will set out our message for that election – that we should respect the result of the EU referendum, deliver a sensible Brexit that works for Scotland and the whole UK, and tell Nicola Sturgeon – no more referendums.”

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SNP candidate Christian Allard called the leaflet an “embarrassment”.

“What an embarrassment for the Tories who are set for a hammering at the EU elections. The graph they’re using has aged badly – they’ve now slipped to a distance fourth place and look more and more like a waste of a vote. The Tories created the mess of Brexit and are now terrified of giving people in Scotland a choice over their future.

Ruth Davidson thinks she can get away without once mentioning Europe, Brexit or the Tory threat to our economy and household incomes. And she’s ignoring the devastating impact of ending migration upon our NHS. The SNP won’t shy away from the importance of these elections. Scotland’s future lies in Europe, and a vote for the SNP is a vote to say No to Brexit.”

Nicola Sturgeon shared a picture of the leaflet online, tweeting: “The @ScotTories – a policy, ideas and principles vacuum. A one trick pony that is now really limping.”

Across the UK the Tories are set for a drubbing at the election, and could even come fourth.